Olivia “Libby” Bessire, 76, of Port Charlotte, Florida, passed away suddenly Saturday, June 17, 2017, due to cardiac complications.
Born in 1941 in Garrett to Ralph and Frances Cleland, Libby attended Indiana University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in library science. She was a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority and remained close friends with her sorority sisters throughout the years.
Libby happily married David Bessire in 1963 and together they proudly raised two children, Laura and Mike, who now have families of their own.
After college, Libby started her career at the Brown County High School Library in Nashville. She and Dave moved to Florida in 1969, where Libby spent the rest of her career as a beloved librarian at Charlotte High School and then Port Charlotte High School. Over the years, she formed many lasting relationships with her students, fellow teachers and co-workers. Libby retired in 2001 and focused the next phase of her life on spoiling her grandchildren and traveling the world, which included trips to Hawaii, Ireland, Scotland, France, England, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Libby particularly loved to embark on cruises, also visiting Russia, Mexico, Alaska and many Caribbean islands over the years.
A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, Libby truly loved everyone she met. She was an extremely avid reader and especially loved mystery novels, always keeping her Kindle books close at hand. She loved the beach, cooking and baking, supporting charity work, doing needlepoint and watching her favorite television shows. Additionally, Libby enjoyed volunteering her time to help the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG), meticulously transcribing old manifests in support of genealogical research. Libby spent countless hours keeping up with her family and many friends, near and far, and made new friends everywhere she went. It has been said that Libby was the “glue” that kept everyone connected, and her genuine interest in people’s lives and families touched everyone she knew.
Libby is survived by her husband of almost 54 years, Dave; her daughter, Laura Bessire Kidd of Evergreen, Colorado; her son, Mike Bessire of Orlando, Florida; her four grandchildren, Tucker, Tanner, Nicholas and Ana Sophia; her brother, Vic Cleland; her sister, Fran Cleland Donnelly; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
This beautiful, sweet and caring lady will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends but will live on in our hearts and memories forever.
Per her wishes, there will be no immediate service for Libby. The family will plan a celebration of her life in the future.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Libby’s memory to a homemaker’s organization that provides support to various charities in the Brown County area — Cedar Hills, 6298 Christianburg Road, Columbus, IN 47201; or to the Brown County High School Library, P.O. Box 68, Nashville, IN 47448.