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      Friends remember 59-year-old victim of grizzly bear attack

      John Wallace spent 17 years working at Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. He was the building's superintendent, and he was also a trained librarian.

      "He was always there, and he enjoyed his work," said Director Shawn Leche.

      But last week, John's body was discovered on Mary Mountain Trail, one of Yellowstone's many hidden beauties. Officials say he died as a result of a grizzly bear attack. He was hiking alone and did not appear to have any protection.

      Co-workers said they remember a man who was much more than an employee. "He was a very kind and gentle individual," Leche said.

      "He was very compassionate, added Mary Hickey, a librarian. When I lost my animal, he was one of the first people there. He was fun, he was feisty.

      John started his days at the library early, taking care of maintenance. He was a hard worker, a lover of books and philosophy, but the thing he most enjoyed was the outdoors.

      He enjoyed nature, Leche said. I can just see him out on the trail hiking, having a wonderful time looking at the beautiful scenery."

      His co-workers said John always wanted to plant a garden alongside the rocks in front of the library.

      In his memory, they said they're going to do just that. In the meantime, they are left with sounds of John's laughter and his will to help others.

      "He will definitely be missed...definitely will be missed," Hickey said.