Linda Rae Waggener


Linda Rae Waggener 1965-2020 Linda Waggener, 55, of Laramie, died Sept. 12, 2020, following a long journey with cancer. Waggener was a fifth-generation Green River native. She was born on July 7, 1965, to Eleanor and Richard Waggener, and graduated from Green River High School in 1983. A passion for libraries, books and reading followed Waggener throughout life, starting with summer reading programs at the Sweetwater County Carnegie library in Green River. She knew by seventh grade that she was going to pursue a career in library and information science. She earned a BA in elementary education from the University of Wyoming in 1988, and an MA in library and information science from Simmons College in 1991. While being treated in 2019 for late-stage cancer, Waggener earned an MA in American studies at UW. Her Plan B paper focused on Wyoming's Carnegie libraries and their importance in the public sector. She also completed a document titled Wyoming Carnegie Libraries Subject Guide: Sources of Information Relating to the State's 16 Carnegie Libraries. The Subject Guide is posted online, and can be found by doing an Internet search using the publication title and author's name. Waggener gifted her Carnegie research project to the UW American Heritage Center, and those materials are available to the public. After graduating from Simmons, Waggener worked for four years at the Natrona County Public Library in Casper. She then spent 11 years with the Fort Worth (Texas) Public Library. In 2006, she moved back to Wyoming after accepting a job at UW as library assistant senior with University Libraries. During her time in Laramie, she sang in the choir of St. Matthew's Cathedral, and continued enjoying four of her passions in life—reading, listening to music, and watching Wyoming Cowgirl basketball and Cowboy football games, sitting in the same seats in War Memorial Stadium that her father acquired in the 1950s. Waggener maintained her humor—along with strength, pride and being an inspiration to others—throughout her journey with cancer, first in 2015 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and then in 2019 when diagnosed with neuroendocrine small-cell carcinoma. In May 2020, she learned that the neuroendocrine cancer had metastasized to her brain, and that there was no cure. Despite facing many obstacles, she kept a positive attitude. Waggener was preceded in death by her father, Richard Waggener. She is survived by her mother, Eleanor Waggener, of Laramie; brother Larz Waggener, of Colorado Springs; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Leslie Waggener, of Laramie; and brother and sister-in-law, John and Diana Waggener, of Laramie. Because of the pandemic, a private service will be held at St. Matthew's Cathedral, followed by burial in Riverview Cemetery in Green River. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Waggener's name to your local library or the Meredith and Jeannie Ray Cancer Center, c/o Ivinson Memorial Hospital Foundation. The full obituary is on the Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home website.