The North Bend Eagle


Foy, Simanek produce children's book

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/23/13

The tragic death of Linda Baumert in May 2011 touched many lives. Jean Foy was so moved by the loss of her friend that she wrote a book.

“One afternoon I was questioning why God takes the good people from us,” Foy said. “I was thinking about how much Linda taught her first grade students and how much they must miss her. She was such a good person, and I believe that Linda was angel-like.”

Foy begins her children’s book, titled God Sends Us Angels, with her definition of an angel and follows with examples of how angels touch a person’s life.

The illustrator for the book is Foy’s son-in-law, Ryan Simanek, a 1999 graduate of North Bend Central, now a graphic artist in Lincoln. He first drew a picture for Foy to see ifs they shared the same vision.

“The angel he drew looked so much like Linda and I don’t even think he knew her that well, maybe met her once,” Foy said.

Simanek had the job.

Foy wrote and rewrote the text. She did a lot of research on writing and publishing children’s books. Simanek composed and designed the book and Foy had it printed at a printing company in Minnesota.

She paid for the initial 1,000 copies and would be delighted if there was a second printing. Right now her goal is to sell enough to pay her expenses.

Foy and Baumert became friends through their church and children’s activities. They played together on a women’s volleyball league in Schuyler. For some of the pages Foy gave Simanek specific ideas for the illustration. The cover illustration was inspired by a story Baumert’s son Tyler told about his mom playing basketball with him early one morning while watering plants.

Foy showed Linda’s husband Kurt a rough draft of the book last fall and has given him copies of the book for the family.

“What makes me most proud is that they were fortunate enough to have that kind of relationship,” Kurt Baumert said, “and that Jean thought that much of Linda.”

Linda is not the only “angel” who inspired Foy in her writing.

“As I was putting the book together I was reminded of other angels in my life,” Foy said.

Foy was inspired by another friend, the late Cheryl Kronke, when she wrote about caring for creatures. Her own father, Robert Marxsen, is represented in the book also.

Foy is doing her own publicity and has a link on Facebook Books are on sale in North Bend at Ron’s Pharmacy, A Little Off The Top Hair Salon, the North Bend Eagle and the North Bend Library. She hopes to get the book in bookstores soon. People can purchase a book for $10.50 by contacting her at

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