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Family of young teacher who died carries on her mission by creating library at her school

Just 24, Lindsey Lassiter died mysteriously, mother says
Posted at 2:31 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 19:46:36-05

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — No parent is prepared to bury a child. Sharlene Boltz is making a difference in kids' lives to honor her daughter.

“There are some days that I am pretty upset. I miss my friend,” said Boltz.

Boltz’s latest scrapbook project is a tough one to undertake.

“The hardest for me is to figure out how I go forward without that presence,” Boltz said.

Boltz’s daughter, Lindsey Lassiter, had just started as a kindergarten teacher when she died mysteriously in her sleep two years ago at the age of 24. The Walnut Hills High graduate was only six weeks into her first year of teaching at a Dallas-area school.

“And that was it. She didn’t have a migraine. They tell me there was no evidence of a seizure. She didn’t struggle to breathe. She just stopped,” Boltz said.

Boltz said her daughter did suffer from stress-induced seizures, but she was under a doctor’s care at the time.

“She was working on managing her stress and other things. Her father was dying of pancreatic cancer, so I suspect that added to the anxiety and stress that she was experiencing,” Boltz said.

It’s been a puzzling two years, but the family has found a way to cope.

Through a GoFundMe account, Boltz worked with her daughter’s school – Umphrey Lee Elementary – to create the Lindsey Lassiter Memorial Library.

“When we cut the ribbon on the library, the entire school turned out,” Boltz said. “They wore Lindsey’s favorite color, which is yellow. There was music, children dancing ... even the kindergarten teachers created a quilt with the hand print of all of her students.”

It’s a celebration that Boltz hopes to continue each year. They still collect donations and work with a publisher and the school to provide books that are diverse and cultural.

“My daughter loved children … and she did believe that reading and interacting with children and inspiring them was really the way of the future,” Boltz said.

In addition to replenishing the library each year, the Boltz's family gives every new kindergartner a starter library of four to 10 books to take home.

You can donate at gofundme.com/f/lindsey-lassiter-memorial-library.