In Memory of Amanda Johnston

We lost a dear staff member and friend. Amanda Lynn Johnston of Grand Rapids unexpectedly passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2024. She is survived by her dad Edwin and Sandy Johnston, her mom Debbie Johnston, her brother Jason Schmidt, and by her two cats Murphy and Lilith. Amanda's life was marked by her kindness, compassion, and the joy she brought to those around her. Her dedication to her family and friends was evident in everything she did. As an Administrative Assistant in the IT Department at Kent District Library, she was known for her willingness to help and her cheerful presence. Her artistic talents and love for reading enriched her life and those of her friends, with whom she loved to travel and spend time. Her memory will be cherished by all who knew her.

Following are some memories and messages from friends and co-workers:

Amanda is among the kindest, most interesting, and authentic people I have ever met. I am so grateful I got to know her. Her openness, sense of humor, love of life and people, and genuine curiosity made every interaction with her memorable. You will be so missed, Amanda. - Yulia 

There are hardly enough words to describe Amanda and this loss. Everyone has so eloquently said how wonderful she is. I just hope she knew how highly we all regarded her. She was sweet and quirky and a conversation with her always lifted my day. I am so thankful to have known her. Her presence is surely missed on our team. - Fellow Admin Assistant

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Amanda, a cherished colleague and friend. Amanda's infectious happiness and inclusiveness brightened every room she entered. She treated everyone with the utmost respect and made sure no one felt left out. It was an honor to work with her way back at Lowell.

During a particularly challenging period in my life last year, Her warm embrace and generous offer of help were a testament to her caring nature and unending compassion. Amanda will be remembered for her cheerful demeanor and the profound impact she had on those around her. She will be deeply missed. - Zurina 

I don't have words adequate enough to express what Amanda means to those who love her, but I know she would appreciate a little borrowing from one of our favorite TV shows, The Golden Girls: "Thank you for being a friend." Thank you, Amanda. You were an exceptional friend, and we'll love and miss you forever. - Jared

This is impossible to write and I can't use past tense.

Amanda is a true individual, with a kaleidoscopic brainwave that leaves me endlessly fascinated by how she views and navigates the world. She is creative, defiant, clever, gentle, brave, hilarious, and so sweet. This is a tremendous loss. - Kate @ PSD

It's hard to know where to begin when talking about Amanda. She is truly the kindest, sweetest, funniest, unique, deep-thinking, most blunt person I have ever met. Amanda and I immediately bonded in the Patron Services department over Golden Girls, cats, and horror movies. We sat behind each other and it was nice to have someone like her to pass the days with or commiserate over difficult calls. In and out of work, Amanda was a true friend that I knew I could legitimately be myself around and I can't describe how much that meant to me. Describing the magic of Amanda is so hard because she truly operated on her own wavelength and I'm just so lucky that I got to be privy to it. I guess all I can say is that I love Amanda so much and I will never know anyone else like her ever again. - Angela Deckard

Amanda was so kind, sweet, and funny. I loved working on TeamKDL events with her - the end of summer staff party and baking cookies for all the employees last year. She was a gift. - Jill Essenburg

Amanda was a joy to know and a privilege to work with. Although we were not in the same department and our paths rarely, she brought a certain lightness and joy to every conversation and interaction. Her spirit spread like wildfire and her midas touch made everything better. She will be missed. - A KDL friend and colleague

Amanda loved horror, Zelda, plants, wine, the Kennedys, good music, vintage, and loving her friends. - Hannah Lewis

For many years, she worked in the Patron Services Dept. She brought such a unique and fun personality to that team. I owe her so much overdue thanks for being kickbutt at processing all the Book Club in a Bags. Missing my dear friend so much. - Gwennan

Amanda always had a smile that says "hello, I'm happy to see you," great conversation and fun things to laugh about. She always lifted my spirit and made the day brighter. - Randy 

Dear Amanda's Family: I am so very sorry for your loss. Amanda was a cheerful, positive person who radiated sunshine no matter where she was. I enjoyed working with her and will miss her. My prayers go out to you all as you process this. - Robin Darling

I had the pleasure of hiring Amanda as a CA for our East Grand Rapids Branch a few years ago. From the moment I met her, I was struck by her ability to make everyone around her feel important and valued. We worked closely together for some time before she transferred to another department, but we stayed in touch over the years. Recently, we reconnected and had a wonderful conversation, reminiscing about old times and making plans to meet up again. Amanda has always been more than just a colleague; she has been a dear friend. I admire her witty sense of humor and her genuine way of making others feel seen and appreciated. Our interactions have left me with cherished memories, and I will miss her greatly. Amanda has made a lasting impact on me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have known her. - Ruben Campos

I loved talking to her and hearing about her cats. Amanda was incredibly kind and patient and I enjoyed her warmth and calm presence. - Ashley Smolinski

As a member of Team KDL, her focus was on bringing sunshine to our workforce community. She was all about getting involved in our Team KDL events to bring joy to others. While I didn't know her well, I'm proud to have known her as a warm and friendly colleague that always had a nice word to share. She made the beret her signature look which was fun and cool. She will be missed by so many and we're all better for having known her. - Brian

Amanda Johnston