compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Books and libraries were the life's work of Eva Santee, who died in California in 1979 at the age of 83. she had headed the Camas Library and later the Fort Vancouver Regional Library. Her 27 years at the library in Vancouver conincided with a major expansion program.

The librarian, born in Kansas, was graduated from Bellingham Normal School (now known as Western Washington University) in 1919. Later she got a degree in librarianship from the University of California.

In the earlier years, Santee taught school in several areas from Ridgefield to Berkeley, Calif.

She was employed as Camas librarian for eight years, and led a drive to have a library building constructed there.

In 1940, Santee came to Vancouver as librarian at the brick building now housing the Clark county Historical Museum. Shortly afterward, the library expanded to meet the demands brought by an increasing population. Bookmobiles and branch libraries were aprt of the solution. Santee was active in the successful drive for a bond issue to finance the Vancouver Regional Library's new building, which opened in 1963.

The librarian was president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, and active in other organizations.

She had won a senior first citizen award in 1945, and received other honors. After retiring in 1967, Santee moved to Colfax, Calif., to live with relatives. She eventually moved to a nursing home, but continued writing book reviews.

Return to profiles