Patricia Ahearn, wife of Allen and partner with him in Quill & Brush and in their well regarded guides to book collecting and book values, passed away at the end of May.
The details of her and Allen’s careers have already, like dandelion seeds, been cast to the four corners with obituaries and memorials that remember her passing and acknowledge her life. She had a good run, some 77 years, and was brave in her battles with cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Her death speaks to the impinging reality that besets the entire rare book community. It is a field once young that now gently ages toward last book fairs, last customers and last sales. And in this there is nothing to complain about. The stalwart IBMer is walked out in their sixties and teachers rarely still regale classes by 70. But booksellers, for them there is no statute of limitations, just days on calendars that have more decades than other professions. And this is fortunate for involvement keeps us young.
Allen contributed these thoughts a few days ago:
“I want to thank you for remembering Pat and the kind words.
It's true that our business allows us to continue working at something we like, well passed our mental expiration dates in some cases. Certainly the business was something that helped me get through the three years we cared for Pat. I couldn't work 8 hours a day, maybe 3 or 4. But, I'm lucky to have a large family that gave us support throughout these years.
We received a large number of cards, letters and messages that showed how well so many people remembered her. This helped and also brought many memories that made us tear up when recalling past good times.
I'm not in any hurry to make any major decisions but will let things play out until something becomes obvious or a choice has to be made. The house is large as many of you know and I think I'll put it on the market next spring. My daughter Beth Fisher and I will continue the business.”
Life, when lived well, is doing what you like. By this standard, Pat Ahearn lived well, very well and she will be missed for her laugh and her smile.
Link to Quill & Brush and comments on the passing of Patricia Ahearn