It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Laurina Cashin on March 10, 2017. She was greatly loved and will be missed by her spouse, Bobbie Combs; her twin sister Bonney Cashin (Kent Smith); her sister Beth Aitken (Robert); her brother Jack Cashin; her niece Ashley Merckling; her nephews Kieran Smith, Drew Cashin, Sean Cashin, David Aitken, Chris Aitken, Geoff Aitken; and her grand-niece Kendal Merckling and grand-nephew Jackson Merckling. Her parents, Ray and Ellen Cashin, preceded her in death.
Laurina arrived in this world three minutes ahead of twin Bonney in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1964 the family moved to Walton, New York and a few years later, to New Carrollton, Maryland, where Laurina graduated from Parkdale High School. She began college at Trinity College in Washington, DC and transferred to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree (and a group of friends whom she cherished all her life.) She went on to get her Master of Education Degree from Springfield College and after that, worked at the Hampshire College library.
Laurina was an avid champion and supporter of children's literature and held many positions in marketing and collection development for the public and school library markets, working for Yankee Book Peddler, Book Wholesalers Inc., Brodart and Children's Library Services. In 2000 she joined Bobbie in founding We Love Children's Books, an independent consulting agency for the children's book industry. Even after she retired in 2014, she remained fiercely passionate about picture books and cheered on favorite authors, illustrators and librarians through social media.
She was a past president of the Educational Paperback Association (now Educational Book and Media Association) and an active member of the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. One of her proudest accomplishments was serving on the 1997 Newbery Award Committee.
Laurina loved the natural world and enjoyed being outside, whether it was tending to her garden or exploring the National Parks. She and Bobbie loved to travel and cherished the four years they spent living in their RV, roaming the country while working and visiting friends and family. She was a dog lover and special loves Emily and Molly brought light to her heart.
She had a special relationship with all her siblings, who shared her love of music, books and beautiful things. She never stopped checking in on her niece and nephews and was always ready to share her positive attitude with them. Friends and family alike appreciated her counsel and wise perspective. Despite her quiet demeanor, Laurina had a wonderful sense of humor and her bright smile and easy laugh brought joy to many.