orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

News

August 1, 2007

Librarian Mobley remembered as ‘salt of earth’

By Tommy Mann Jr.

The Orange Leader



The former director of the Orange Public Library, Richard Lee Mobley, died July 10 at a Montgomery, Ala., hospital. He was 60 years old.

Mobley spent about a dozen years heading up the Orange Public Library, and books and knowledge defined the man.

He began his career with the Pintlala Branch Library, part of the Montgomery Public Library System.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama in 1969 and his master’s degree from Florida State University in 1975, he worked as a seventh-grade teacher before becoming a librarian.

Mobley worked not only as a school librarian, but also as the corrections librarian at Belle Glade Correctional Institution in Florida. While in Florida, he also worked at the Florida Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Daytona Beach.

Eventually, Mobley made his way to Orange where he not only became director of the Orange Public Library from 1981 to 1993, but also director of community and public services in Orange.

While in Orange, Mobley made an impact on many people who remember him for the special person he truly was.

Dorothy Garrison worked at the Orange Public Library for 25 years before leaving in 1997. She served with Mobley as his secretary during his stay at the library.

“He was an exceptional man,” Garrison said. “Everything good you ever hear about him is true. He was a true gentleman.”

Garrison said Mobley was the type of man who liked to get things accomplished, but never sought the recognition for his work.

“He liked to stay in the background,” Garrison said. “He liked to make sure things were done right, and he was never pushy. I think that is why he was so well liked.”

Others who worked for the city of Orange also had a lot of respect for Mobley.

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