Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
GJ - We stayed at Louise Manning's home during the 40th reunion. She was active, energetic, and full of life, at about 91 years. She cooked us supper, and it was delicious.
She talked about being cold at night, so we sent her a nifty blanket that was light and warm. She gave it to someone who loved it as much as she did. That was Louise.
She lived down the street from my mother's home in Davenport. We first met Louise and her husband Ephraim on the Blackhawk Hiking Club walks. Conrad Bergendoff was a member too. He lived past 100. My mother lived past 90. Hiking must be good for health, or else hikers are people with boundless energy.
We also knew their son Earl from Augustana and later met everyone else. Louise came to Arizona to watch her grandchildren sing in the Tucson Boys Choir, so we saw her on those trips and enjoyed being with her family.
Dr. and Mrs. Manning were generous souls. That came through in everything they did and said. My wife Chris visited Louise once, on her own. Louise took her around to see Conrad at the nursing home, and introduced Chris to others as "our visiting dignitary." Chris repeated that story many times.
We were hoping to see Louise on our way to the 45th MHS66 reunion, and that happened. We got there at the right time and Louise was full of joy at seeing us again. She did not like dogs in the house but invited us to stay with our dog Sassy (the official mascot of MHS 66). That was not practical, but it was great to see her smiling and talking with such energy, even though she was bed-ridden. We thought it was probably the last time we would see her in this life.
"May the angels lead you to Paradise," Louise.