Professor Emerita of Art Naomi Towner has faced many difficulties since her days teaching the fiber arts, but she has come out smiling.

In 2011 Towner contracted an infection that doctors said would take her leg. After surgeries and time recovering in a rehabilitation center, she made an amazing recovery. She is now travelling the long road to healing, starting with the very basics of learning to walk again.

Towner has made the best of a tough situation. After her initial diagnosis, she sent notice she would have to drop her involvement in the local Neighborhood Watch to take care of a medical situation. The response was remarkable with people she had only had contact with through emails sending her their well wishes, offers of rides and homemade lasagnas. “I’m amazed how people are so generous and kind,” she remarked.

Uncontrollable change is one of the most challenging things in life, but when faced with such difficulty Towner is firm in her encouragement. “I’ve been through a lot and done it all and I realized that the only thing I can control is my attitude,” she said. “You get bad days, but never let it get you too down.”

Though she can no longer continue with her weaving, she has found a creative outlet in intricate needlepoint. “I just do what I can,” Towner said “I won’t do substandard work either, like the singer who has lost his voice.”

Her advice for anyone faced with a seemingly insurmountable situation is “don’t give up,” a mantra that keeps her standing today.

Towner can be reached at