A tribute to children’s librarian Lila Innes

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Lila K. (Knapp) Innes, age 92, of Granby, passed away on Jan. 28, 2020, at home surrounded by her loving family after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Born in Bridgeport on Dec. 9, 1927, and raised in Stratford, Lila was married to Charles Innes for 65 years, until his death in December 2015.

In Granby, her most important role was serving as the children’s librarian at the Frederick H. Cossitt Library for 34 years. One of her favorite roles was playing Mother Goose, a totally appropriate role for the children she loved. Lila could be seen many years as the Cossitt Library representative in the town’s annual Memorial Day Parade. She retired from her librarian position in 1999.

Lila enjoyed reading, nature, birds, wildlife and gardening. She also loved to cook and bake for family and friends. She was a popular member of the Granby Civic Club that had planned in March to have a group of folks gather to share thoughts and remembrances of their dear member, but like so many things, the gathering became a victim of COVID-19.

Lila was a true Granby treasure who cherished her family, loved and served her community, always with laughter and giving. She was also an active member of the Salmon Brook Historical Society where she was a reliable and smiling volunteer. 

Although I did not know Lila, I have heard of parents in Granby who were in a panic because their young scholars “remembered” at 8 p.m. they had a report due the next morning. Countless times a call to the Cossitt Library found Lila still there. She simply collected the books necessary and had them ready for them when they arrived. She saved the grades of many a Granby student over her 30 plus years as the evening librarian.

Lila Innes as Mother Goose

Lila and Charlie built a summer home in Sandisfield, Mass. Charlie was mechanically inclined, which helped in the construction of their beloved camp. Together with Lila and four small children, he began the project in 1957 and continued to improve upon the structure for decades. This was an ideal place to enjoy her interest in wildlife and nature as well as a great place for canoeing and kayaking.

Lila Innes will long be remembered for her smile and her many contributions to the Cossitt Library and the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Granby.