Obituary: Ann Marie Eagan, librarian and former Cline Library department head

Ann Marie Eagan

Ann Marie Eagan, librarian and former head of the Reference Department at Cline Library, died March 14, 2014, in Tucson. She was 56.

Ms. Eagan was born Dec. 8, 1957, in Waushara County, Wis. She was the second child of James and LaVan Eagan, who owned and managed a family dairy farm outside of Wautoma.

After graduating from Wautoma High School, Ms. Eagan decided to attend Northern Arizona University, where she met her future husband, Phil “Tony” Mlsna, in an astrophysics class in 1978. After graduating in May 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and atmospheric physics, Ms. Eagan joined Dr. Mlsna, who was working for a high-tech company in Fort Collins, Colo. She eventually found her way into a classified staff position at the library of Colorado State University. It was there that she found her passion for library work and decided to make librarianship her career.

Ms. Eagan completed her master’s in library science at the University of Arizona in 1990, worked for two years at the University of Nevada and in the Science and Engineering Library at UA before joining NAU as head of Cline Library’s Reference Department in 1999. She transitioned into the role of librarian at Cline in 2008 and held that position at the time of her death.

Ms. Eagan contracted a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in early 2007. Although she achieved complete remission through chemotherapy, the disease returned four years later. Additional chemotherapy kept it at bay until January 2014, but despite the best efforts of her oncologists and other physicians, she was unable to survive this renewed battle with cancer. Family and friends were at her side at the University Medical Center in Tucson.

Ms. Eagan was involved with a variety of organizations in the Flagstaff community, serving as general chairwoman of the 2007 Climb to Conquer Cancer and secretary of the Master Gardener Association of Flagstaff. She was active in the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition, a local cancer support group, served as a volunteer and docent at the Flagstaff Arboretum and was a regular presence in Jack Welch’s walking group. Ms. Eagan completed more than a dozen backpack trips in Grand Canyon National Park and several river trips on the Colorado and the San Juan rivers. In recent years, she and her husband traveled to British Columbia, Ireland, central China and the United Kingdom.

Ms. Eagan is survived by Phil, her husband of 25 years; brother Patrick Eagan of Phoenix; sisters Margaret Names and Kathryn Auck of central Wisconsin; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins scattered across the United States and beyond.

A celebration of Ms. Eagan’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Flagstaff Arboretum with a reception and light lunch to follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Ms. Eagan’s name to either the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society of the American Cancer Society or toward a memorial landscape feature to be placed at the Flagstaff Arboretum. Contact Mr. Mlsna at (928) 699-1106 for information.