Windham ‘was about others’

Published 10:43 pm Monday, June 13, 2011

Windham loved passing on her stories to the next generation and often spoke at local colleges and elementary schools. -- Special photo

Kathryn Tucker Windham inspired and engaged everyone she met through her stories of Southern living and ghosts, and the children of Selma are no different.

Beth Taylor, principal of Byrd Elementary, said Windham made regular visits to the school.

“She was a very, very dear friend,” Taylor said. “She graciously donated every single book she’d written to our library, which we named after her. The kids have met her and they would always ask her the most interesting questions. They called her ‘The ghost lady’ and they checked out her wonderful books all of the time.

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“She always had time for the children and always made sure they were never scared (when hearing her ghost stories),” Taylor said. “The literary world is going to miss her.”

Selma-Dallas County Public Library Director Becky Nichols said Windham’s legacy is overpowering.

“Her life has been overwhelming in a good way,” Nichols said. “She was a total and complete supporter of Selma and she brought countless persons to Selma to show it off. She had an incredible love of her community, the people and its history. She made Selma better.”

Nichols and the library staff named a room inside the library in Windham’s honor:

The Kathryn Windham Conference Room. Nichols said Windham’s contribution was instrumental to the library’s recent renovations.

“We could not have done it without her influence,” Nichols said. “She was a completely selfless human being — everything about her was about others. She was a great role model.”

Windham had requested that in lieu of flowers or other items, that memorials may be made to Selma-Dallas County Public Library, 1103 Selma Ave., Selma, AL 36701 or Tale Tellin’ Festival, P. O. Box 2548, Selma, AL 36702.