CRESTVIEW — Sandra Dreaden, Crestview Public Library’s first and only reference librarian, died on Tuesday in Crestview. She was 62.
The cause was an incurable form of cancer that had metastasized to her liver.
Dreaden held her position at the library since 2001 and was a GED instructor prior to that. She was also active in the community and was the chair of the Crestview Chamber of Commerce’s Government Issues Committee from 2016-2017.
“She was a passionate advocate for the library and for this community,” Library Director Marie Heath said. “The quality I most loved about Sandra was that she so freely shared her knowledge with all. I learned a lot from her and I’m sad that I won’t be able to turn to her for advice...During one of our last conversations I remember her saying that she was sad, but ‘had no regrets’ about life. She was proud that she raised four successful boys and loved her husband, Art Dreaden.”
Brian Hughes, Public Information Officer for Crestview Police Department, was a friend of Dreaden and her husband, Art. He remembers her advocacy for the library and the Crestview community.
“Sandra was a kind, enthusiastic and joyful lady; a truly Godly woman who loved her family, her community and the library to which she had devoted so much of her life,” Hughes said. “Her radiant, ever-pleasant smile is sorely missed.”
Hughes described her devotion to the library and its mission. “The library's mission of serving the community as a place that is so much more than a book repository was Sandra's passion,” he said.
Other librarians at the Crestview Library and other Okaloosa County Libraries described her as warm and cheerful, a force and a motherly figure.
Brian Corlew, who succeeded Dreaden as chair of the Government Issues Committee when her term expired, remembers her as being deeply devoted to the committee and the issues they discussed.
“You could tell she was invested,” Corlew said. “Any time someone came to speak, she would always have insightful questions. When she did something, she did it with compassion.”