The iSchool mourns the tragic death of Lori Bresnahan, a 1992 graduate of our MLIS-School Media program and a school librarian in the Liverpool (NY) Central School District.

“For those of you who knew Lori as a student, classmate, colleague, internship supervisor, and/or friend, you may remember her contagious smile, engaging personality and her strong commitment to her chosen profession.” -Dr. Ruth Small

Leave a Remembrance

Those wishing to make a contribution in Lori’s name may do so at:

Bresnahan Family Benefit Fund
c/o Community Bank, NA
5966 State Route 31
Cicero, NY 13039

In Your Words:

I can’t tell you when I first met Lori. She’s one of those people you feel like you’ve known forever. She truly cares about others and I felt that every time I saw her at church. She was a constant smiling welcoming face. My family and Lori shared the bond of not having extended family close by, however we both found our families in the same town sharing the same last name. Lori is an unforgettable person. We can learn valuable lessons from the way Lori lived her life: selfless and happy. She touched the lives of so many and I am so grateful to say I have known her.

Lori was instrumental in our decision to adopt our daughter from China. I will never forget her willingness to talk to us (strangers at the time) and eagerness to help us in any way. She was a shining light. I mourn the loss of her and pray deeply for her child’s healing. If anyone know what we can do for her child, please share. Erin Lore

Lori was my cousin and all my memories of her are of her smiling. She was there for my family through every loss and hardship we faced. She was caring and loving, and was always able to help me feel better. Her beautiful soul was taken in tragedy, but I hope her memory lives on and we all try to be more like her. Selfless and loving. I and the rest of my family will her deeply, an will do our best to honor her.

Lori was one of the nicest and most enthusiastic people I have ever met. She was one of my adjunct professors in my Literacy Master’s program at SUNY Oswego and it was clear that she loved talking about books and about kids. There is no question that she made a difference with her life and others would do well to follow her example of pursuing their passions and remembering to smile. I remember that near the end of our course, she told me that she had been talking about me to another colleague because, as she put it, “You’re going to change some lives.” It was one of the nicest compliments I have ever received and while she never knew, I have always remembered it. I said, and will continue to say, special prayers for Lori, her child, and the rest of her family.

Lori invited me to speak at her elementary school right after she adopted her daughter. I was so impressed with the strong relationships her had with all of her students, and the kindness that she passed along to everyone she met. The way her face lit up when she showed me the photos of her child was a joy to behold.

All of my prayers and love go out to her family, friends, and students.

I met Lori and her mom, Mary, when she came shopping at JCP. I always looked forward to talking to them when they came shopping. She will definitely be missed. My thoughts go out to her mom and child. I will always remember her smiling face. RIP.

I did not know the victims, but it huts and makes my heart heavy to hear this news. When i got the update this morning i broke out in tears at work. If it effected me in this way i can only imagine how the family feels. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

I met Lori years ago when she was adopting her child. She was so excited while waiting for the arrival of her precious child. I would then see her in church. She truly “glowed” when talking about her child, and life in general. So sad for us all, especially her family, to have lost such a truly positive and beautiful person.

May your child receive your love from above, and recover from the trauma and be surrounded by the love of family and friends. The community truly mourns for your loss.

I will always remember Lori as the most loving and caring mother and friend. Our children have played together and been classmates together since kindergarten. The talks we had at scouts and gymnastics will always be treasured. She is greatly missed.

I am grateful to Lori for the love of reading & learning that she helped instill in my child and for her commitment toward demonstrating to young children what librarianship has the potential to be. Lori helped convey a sense of awe in my child over the amazing & incredible opportunities we have before us through education, reading and community. The fond stories my child came home to tell will remain very fond memories. I will also remember Lori for being someone who did not take life for granted, who was compassionate, kind and welcoming, who clearly loved her own child more than anything and who took the time to appreciate life and family in even the smallest moments. These are the ways in which she inspired me and through which I hope to honor her. My heart breaks for her child, family & friends and for all the people whose lives she touched. She will be deeply missed.

I didn’t know Lori but you can feel the warmth she radiated from her picture. I pray that her child is blessed with no memory of what happened, and only with beautiful memories of a beautiful mother. Thoughts and prayers….

I do not know the victims or the family, but am stunned that something like this happened in our community. I am deeply saddened by this tragedy, and am sending prayers of support and healing to those close to Lori and her child.

Lori devoted her life to children and literature with all her being. She was an essential resource to classroom teachers with endless energy. I pray her child can heal from this devastating tragedy holding on to the love Lori gave.

Father, I don’t know this family personally, but my heart breaks with them Dear Lord. Father You know the reason why they weep today. Your Word says You are our comforter, the God of all comfort, You are close to those whose hearts are breaking. So come alongside them Dear Lord in their pain, be their strength that they need in this hour.
Father, I am asking for You to Hold this precious child close to Your heart Father, I pray, that the child sense Your omnipresence right now in Jesus name, forever, and always. Amen.

I did not know her personally but she was my brother’s librarian at Willow Field Elementary School. I would just like to send well wishes to the family and tell them to stay strong. The entire community is mourning the loss of a truly amazing person. We have her watching over us now to guide us thought this tough time. My prayers are with everyone affected.

Lori babysat for our two children while they were growing up in Liverpool. She was the sweetest young lady, and everyone in the family just loved having her in our home, both watching the children and when Lori would just pop in for a visit. We are extremely saddened by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone in the Bresnahan family.

The Boles Family

Our alum, Lori, was the model of professionalism, care, and dedication to the students in the schools where she was their beloved librarian. At the iSchool, the faculty, staff, and her fellow students remember her with fondness and pride. We are all so saddened by this horrific crime and our hearts and prayers go out to her family, colleagues, and the children who adored her.

The entire community is overwhelmed with grief for such senseless acts of violence! Thank you for establishing a memorial fund! I did not have the great fortune of working with Lori. i believe i have attended conferences and meetings with her. i am grieving as a parent, for our profession, community and society as a whole! I look forward to getting to know Lori through your posts! Keep the memories alive! May we all request prayers for healing her amazingly courageous child?

I did not know Lori, but I am devastated and outraged at what happened to her. It could have been anyone I knew coming out of the mall that night. It could have been me and my grandchild. The thought sends chills up and down my spine. Please accept my heartfelt prayers and may her family get through this tragedy with strength, love, and dignity.

I did not know Lori, but this gave me great sadness. My family and I are praying for her brave child and her family.We did light a candle in her memory tonight at 9pm.

I didn’t know Lori, but I read about this horrible crime and I wanted to let the people who did know Lori, and who love her, that even strangers are touched by what a good person she was. My prayers and thoughts are with Lori, her child, and the people who love them. I am so sorry.

I met Lori when she was looking for a summer job at Waldenbooks in Great Northern Mall. I was interviewing her but the interview quickly turned into a very long conversation that didn’t have anything to do with the job. It did feel like we had known each other forever as someone else mentioned. She talked to me about getting a degree as a school librarian – something I’d never considered and no one else had ever suggested before. I kept working in bookstores for a couple of years while I took the GRE and applied to SU. I owe her a lot for changing my future path. I’ve been a school librarian for 13 years and it’s because of Lori. We became good friends that summer and sang together in the Liverpool Community Choir for a few years. I celebrated with her when she adopted her child from China and even after I moved out of state we would keep in touch and I would sometimes visit when I was back in NY. She was the kindest, most loving person and would help anyone who needed it. I hate that violence had to take the life of such a caring individual. Prayers to her family.

I had no idea I knew this wonderful person, till now. I would see her at my little Olivia’s school sometimes. She was always smiling and she would always stop to say Hi and chat for a moment. I am saddened by such awful news. My thoughts and prayers going out to any and all that knew her. God bless the family in there loss. Rest in peace, sweet person.

Prayers are with all who have been touched by this story. Lori’s family, child, those at the gymnastics center, and the mall, and the community. We don’t experience this kind of grief and it hurts to think it could happen in our town. Please reach out and do good, send a smile, a wave, or pass on a kind word, or just pray. It is the least we can do, to heal. God bless.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are mourning the loss of their loved one. I will continue to pray especially hard for Lori’s child, it breaks my heart that not only was the child the victim of a heinous attack, but that the mother was lost. Bless you sweet child, and bless you Lori.

The entire Harrington family have broken hearts tonight. My two sisters and I all had Lori as our librarian at KPS. She was warm and always smiling. She touched our lives 25 years ago I can’t imagine how many lives she has touched and helped mold since then. What a horrible unexplainable tragedy. My prayers and love go out to her family. Heaven has gained another angel but we could always use to keep some more here :(

Words cannot express the immense sadness that I feel as I grieve the loss of a dear friend. Lori was one of the kindest, humblest, and most sincere people that I know. So many others have mentioned her smile and and happy personality…it’s so true. She was full of optimism and faced every challenge with a smile. She and I would talk for hours and never run out of things to say; she is that kind of friend. And so, so dedicated to her family and students. Our children are also good friends, and we would always look forward to our get-togethers with them. Going out for ice cream, ice skating, Syracuse symphony concerts, the Fair, and just watching our children laugh together–these are memories that I will always cherish. My heart breaks for her family now, and I pray for their healing and peace. If we could all honor Lori’s memory by trying to be more like her, our community would be a better place. Do not let Lori’s warm, gentle, generous spirit be overshadowed by the horrific senselessness of this tragedy. Love and peace to her family.

I can’t tell you how absolutely shocked and saddened I am to hear about this. I went to high school with Lori and she was the nicest, most upbeat person, that always had a smile on her face. This is an absolute tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and coworkers. May god bless you all.

did not know her but a person i lived in liverpool&my children went to school there whole lives&we loved l’pool &lived there for 18years&i truley miss what i will always call home! but to die the way this women did is so tragic&she fought till the end&her precious child will hopefully live out w/her family&friends&be loved&helped to move on w/ life the best way possible w/out a mom.and will grow stronger everyday!! may she RIP&god bless her family!! :(

I have known Lori and her family since I was a young child. I recently had an opportunity to see her again and we talked as though not a day had gone by since we had last seen each other, even though it had been several years. Lori was the most positive, caring, sincere person I have ever met and I was always envious by how beautiful a person she was, inside and out. Whenever I thought of Lori in the past and how I will always remember her is a ray of sunshine. She always brought out the best in people and she will be missed immensely. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bresnahan and Senke families. She truly is an angel of God now and I know she’s watching over all of us with that beautiful smile.

I took Lori’s Library Arts and Media graduate class the fall of 2012. She was amazing.It always blew my away that a woman who taught young children could walk into a classroom of people 20-50 years old, teach them, and touch their lives too. She was just amazing.That is just the best way to describe her. She talked about her child every class. I feel like I know the child, and we have never met. All of her graduate students say the same thing, she was amazing and she loved her child. We as her graduate students want her family to know that she was the nicest person we have ever met, she holds a special place in our hearts…as does her child. She changed our lives and we all just want the child to know that WE KNOW LORI LOVED YOU SO MUCH. More than anything and everything. Also, she talked about her mother a lot. Would someone please hug her for us? Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers are with your family yesterday, today, and in the days, months, and years that follow.

My children attended Kingsford Park School in Oswego where Ms. Bresnahan was the Librarian. For seven years I saw her interact with the children, parents and staff of KPS. She was always so happy, energetic and passionate about reading. She coordinated a Library Club for the children and nurtured their love for books. She was an outstanding woman and a tremendous influence on the children she interacted with. She will be greatly missed, but her contributions to students’ lives will live on.

I just want to take a moment to mourn the loss of not just a great mother, but a great friend. Lori was truly my hero last year. She always asked how I was doing, wanted to know all about my life, loved watching my gymnastics, and encouraged me as I ventured through things like applying to college, going to my first and last school dance, and having troubles in my personal life. She worked so hard and loved everyone around her. It just sickens me that of all the people that something bad could happen to it was her and poor little child. Bad things happen to good people and it makes no sense. The child is strong and I know will make it through this, but it sickens me that the child will have to. No 10 year old child should have to go through something like this. The fact that I’m so far away and can’t reach out and help kills me, but I’m doing my part here by letting everyone know that Lori was an amazing human being whose life was a gift to me and to anyone who knew her personally. Although she is gone, I will never forget the effect she had in my life. RIP Lori.

Lori’s picture says it all. That is exactly how I remember her. Always smiling and happy to greet anyone who walked into the Library.

I remember when Lori adopted her child. She was so very proud and always showing pictures. Love and healing prayers for her family. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a great one.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~From a headstone in Ireland

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Senke Family. Lori was a beautiful person and she will be missed by anyone who’s life she touched.

I am so very very sorry, I did not know Lori, nor her child but my very soul is touched and saddened by this horrible senseless act. Lori must have been a wonderful woman to have touched so many, so deeply. My prayers go out to all those who must bear this loss.

I met Lori when she was waiting for her child from China. I was able to share with her the miracle of adoption. She was so excited to be a mother and I never forgot her joy filled anticipation. May she rest in peace and know that her child will be surrounded by love of family and community.

Susan Lenehan

Lori was the kind of person that prayed, shared and cared for all children in the world.

My association/friendship came when she selected a very loving and nurturing academic environment for her adoptive child. She found that in St. Margaret’s School. I had the privilege of working in her child’s Pre-K classroom.

Lori volunteered her time and talents selflessly at St. Margaret’s School. She recommended and sent wonderful books to her child’s teacher, Mrs. Ann Demlein. She also served occasionally as Mystery Reader. Again, focusing on the very young reader.

While shopping last week, I met Lori and her child and reminded them of the mother/daughter presentation they gave in the classroom on Chinese Culture. They had shared a Chinese New Year celebration with classmates. A wonderful and enriching day full of smiles, and blessings that were sure to touch young lives and last a lifetime.

Many thoughts and healing prayers go out to Lori’s family. Please know that her kindness and loving memory will live on in my heart.
-Mrs. Caroline DuBrava-Cox

Lori was a remarkable woman that generously gave of herself. Over the years she was a Host Parent that took in several children from Northern Ireland. She will be deeply missed by us and our community. May God bless Lori and her beautiful family!!

Kathleen Kelly & CNY Project Children

Oh, Lori,
Thank you for the friendship freely offered to all you came in contact with. Thank you for the many times before school when we would gather in your “back room” in the CHE library for coffee, tea, treats, and sharing. Thank you for helping me through a difficult time – and always being available to listen, encourage, and love. Thank you for your love of children that radiated through your students of all ages. Thank you for sharing the love of your child – who through your love, became ours, too. Thank you for being all that you could be, sharing your faith freely, and always being trustworthy and kind. We are so blessed to having known you and are better people today for having been your friend.
Your mother was an amazing lady! I am sure that you know that and even more so now as I am sure she did all she could to protect you from harm. Many of us have been touched and been loved by your mother in various ways; and we love you, too, for we feel that we know you. At times when you are sad, remember your mother’s smile and know that she would want you to smile, too, and to be happy. Your mother surrounded you with many friends and loving cousins and helped you to be all that you could be in your short 10 years. These are wonderful gifts and these will carry you through the coming years.
To Lori’s mom and family members, may God be with you now and always. As the days go by, may you be at peace knowing that Lori is with God, and together they are shining their love upon you as you continue to love each other and care for Lori’s child.

Many Blessings,
Rev. Patti Walz, United Methodist pastor, former Music Teacher at CHE

I knew Lori in High School- She often ate at the lunch table with us. She was then a sweet person with a great smile (you all know that). In hearing about this tragedy- my heart lifts when I read about her rich life, and the involvement in her community and with her child. And then, I am so so saddened that life is taken from some and goes on for others. Bresnahans be strong for each other and Lori’s child.

For a year I had the privilege of being a colleague of Lori’s when she worked for the Syracuse City School District. During conversations with her, I found her to be friendly and warm. I was shocked and deeply saddened by what happened to her. All of my prays go out to her family.

Thank you for the countless books you read, recommended, and donated to our Center. We shall remember your joyousness and your kindness. I will miss chatting and catching up at the grocery store. Your smile was infectious, and we will forever remember your spirit of community and learning. For the child – may you learn again to smile the sweet smile we know, and please know that you are loved and cared for by many.

I remember when Lori was in the Liverpool Community Chorus.
She always greeted everyone with that beautiful smile.
The Senke Family always provided their friends with many happy memories. Our dear friend Peg Senke recently passed from this earth and now is joined by her wonderful niece Lori in Heaven. I’m sure that both the Senke and Bresnahan families will surround Lori’s child with all the love she needs now and in the future.
Love, Lisa and Family

Ms Bresnahan was the most amazing library teacher. I will miss her forever. She was helping me and my friend with our Social Studies project and said she couldn’t wait to see the finished product… Now she can’t. That was the first thought that came to my mind when this happened. Her last words to me were, “Do you want to go clean the biography section for me?” She will be in my heart forever.

I didn’t know Ms. Bresnahan, but my kids did. They just started school at Willowfield in January. My son became very fond of her, he LOVES to read and he sent her on a mission to find him books that she thought he would like. Ms. Bresnahan did this for him on a regular basis. My son also said that he liked talking to her so much that he would stop by the library and say hi whenever he could…Thank you Lori. Wish I could have met you at open house this week, to thank you in person. It was so hard to tell him, he is so sad. Our little one doesn’t understand…Thank you for caring about my child like he were your own. We promise you will not be forgotten.

Although I have never met Lori, I can’t imagine what it would have been like that horrific night for Lori and the child, but I pray that the child recovers and is blessed. May we all recognize life’s preciousness with this sorrow.
My heart, prayers, and sympathy go out to the family.

ssapareto mom of an adopted 9 year old

I had the pleasure of knowing Lori during my time at Oswego. Her enthusiasm and passion for literature were contagious and inspirational. I created some of my best work for her class because she was all about assigning useful and creative projects. She read us “I Love you Like Crazy Cakes” and made us all tear up because it was obvious how much her child meant to her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

There is so much that could be said about Lori that it could literally become a book (which I pray that it will someday happen). The moment I met Lori back in my days at CHE, she instantly struck me as one of those truly rare individuals that just emanate goodness, love and caring everywhere they go. She would always go above and beyond for everyone she met. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she never seemed to be anything but happy. The last time I saw Lori (a week to the day) she was as usual so happy with nothing but good things to say. She was so amazed by her beautiful child and could not believe the child was ten years old already. Thinking back I was truly blessed to have had a chance to speak with her (even if for a brief time) and when I left her I felt really happy over our encounter.
Brenda Wilbur, TA Liverpool Elementary

To the family of Lori I extend my deepest, heartfelt sympathy. I met Lori many years ago through my former neighbors. They were best friends. Lori was also a customer of mine years ago when I was involved with craft shows. I remember her to be always engaging and possessing such a sweet, gentle spirit. It was probably a few years ago that we ran into each other at Wegmans and hadn’t seen each other in a very long time. We engaged in conversation, picking up where we had left off right in the middle of the produce department. She was such a caring person.
May you find comfort in your memories and healing in your hearts. I will be praying for you all.

I knew Lori from singing with her in the Liverpool Community Chorus. She was always so kind. My mother sang with us too and after I left the Chorus, they remained close. We are devestated and so sad. What a wonderful woman she was.

I didn’t know the family but, my heart was breaking because I had been through something very similar. My heart goes out to the family and mostly to the little child. I hope the child gets the love, counseling and justice that Mother and child deserve. My prayers are with you all.

I had the pleasure and honor of working with Lori during those years she was at Kingsford Park in Oswego.
The picture on this site is how Lori looked every day. Always, always a smile and a kind word for everyone.
I am heartbroken, and I pray that her child will be surrounded with the love and care needed to help heal.

I had the privilege of working with Lori at Delaware Academy in the city district. She was our librarian and a member of our SLT committee. She was the most selfless woman, who offered her never ending support to any project the school or committee was working on. I will truly miss her spirit and enthusiasm.

Lori and I were classmates and colleagues for many years in both Syracuse City and Oswego County. She was simply the nicest girl you ever met. She loved her profession and the students loved her. I recall many conversations about her mother, her pride in the Liverpool community and especially her joy on the arrival of her little child. While most of us push paper, attend meetings and are tethered to technology, Lori made a real, practical difference in the lives of children. She’s certainly with the angels now.

I did not know you, personally, Lori, but I knew you in spirit. As another single mom with a child from China, we have much a lot in common. We in the adoptive community mourn your passing and pray for your sweet child. May your child heal and grow from the seeds you planted. Bless you.

Lori and I were members of the same online group for singles who were or had adopted children from China. Over the years we exchanged emails about books. Her loss has devastated our entire community and my family sends healing wishes for her child and for Lori’s family and community.

I am saddened by the tragic passing of a fellow adoptive mom. Lori sounds like such a lovely person, and I know she will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with all who knew and loved Lori, especially her child.

To Lori’s Family, it was a great day, when she and Mary moved next door to us. Such a friendship. Michael was like
an adopted Dad to Lori. They talked about everything. Then her child came into our lives, swimming in the pool. Cookouts, having fun with the dog. So many wonderful memories. Lori, you were such a happy person. This is so difficult to write, but those memories will always be there. You were a great Mom, and your child is a wonderful child. God Bless, Chat with Michael in God’s Home. God Bless Hugs Ann

I was a colleague with Lori for many years in KPS, Oswego, where she so loved getting kids excited about books and authors. One only had to watch her the day the Newbery and Caldecott Awards were announced to know how genuine was her love for books. Lori always wore an angel pin on her shoulder; I hope that angel is still by her side. I sincerely hope that Lori’s family will find some comfort in all the kind and true words spoken here about Lori, a true gem.

i remember her when i when i was in kin and 1st and 2ed 3ed and 4th grad and she was very very very nice and when i herd that i was very sad and i wish she was still alive