The co-owner of Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Bradford “Brad” Smith, died May 20 at the age of 63 after a 5-year battle with cancer. Smith purchased the bookstore with wife Randi Schuyler in 2003 after moving to Central Oregon from Bellingham, Washington.

In 2008, Smith and sister Cynthia Claridge opened a second Paulina Springs Books in Redmond. At both stores, Smith made community engagement a focus, hosting a variety of events and providing sponsorships and donations to many area organizations.

When he was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, Smith and Claridge decided to sell the Redmond store (renamed Herringbone Books by the new owner) but continued to own and operate the Sisters location. Due to Smith’s declining health, he, Claridge and Schuyler decided to list the Sisters store for sale in February.

“His death was earlier than any of us were really ready for,” Claridge said. “But we’re not walking away from the store — it was very important to Brad.”

A memorial for Smith is planned at the store, but details have not been finalized.

— Kim Himstreet