Shirley Gros Louis, a resident of Blue Ridge with her husband Lou since 2001 passed away peacefully at the Sunrise of Falls Church, Virginia Nursing Home on November 11, 2017.
She was born Nov. 25, 1932, in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Marvin and Cecelia Olson. Survivors include her devoted husband of 64 years, Lou Gros Louis, two daughters, Cheryl Galvez and husband Veny of Great Falls, Virginia, Melissa Staley and husband Doug of Martinsburg, West Virginia, son Brian and wife Diane of San Antonio, Texas, two brothers, Marvin Olson and Robert Olson of Omaha, Nebraska, and a sister Pat Arndt of Omaha, Nebraska. She is also survived by seven grandchildren including Victoria Galvez of Great Falls, Virginia, Victor Galvez of San Francisco, California, Benjamin Wimberly and Michelle Hickerson of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and John, Keri, and Kelianne Grao Louis of San Antonio, Texas and one great-grandchild, Wyatt, son of Benjamin Wimberly.
She was a graduate of South High School in Omaha, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska School of Nursing in Lincoln, Nebraska. She worked as a Nurse’s Aide at Douglas Community Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska and later worked as the Statewide Coordinator of Accounts for the Mobil Oil Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska.
After relocating to Wilton, New Hampshire she served her community as a Ballot Clerk, was elected to the Office of Supervisor of the Checklist, was an active member of the Wilton Youth Center Committee, TeenHaven Committee, Wilton Fire Department Wives Organization, High School Sports Night Committee, and taught sewing classes for teenage girls at the New Hampshire Extension Office. As the Mother of New Hampshire’s All-American Family representing the state of New Hampshire at the National All-American Family Pageant in Florida she also served the U.S. Department of the Treasury as New Hampshire’s Mrs. United States Savings Bonds traveling throughout the state speaking on the value of U.S. Savings Bonds. She also was a very active member of the New Hampshire State Republican Women’s Organization and the United States Senate Re-Election Committee.
During the period 1979-1986 her family relocated to Denver, Colorado where her husband served the Department of HUD on numerous Indian Reservations. She became very active in assisting the poor people of the Oglala Sioux Reservation and provided all the clothing needs of three children, ages 5, 8, and 12 until they graduated from High School. During this same period, she and her husband started a nationwide program entitled “Operation Clothesline” asking people from all over the nation to send clothing to the Oglala Sioux Nation. In 5years over 6 tons of clothing were received.
After moving to Leisure World in 2001 she became active with her husband Lou hosting Sunday Pot Luck dinners, distributing Easter eggs and Christmas stockings to all residents of their Blue Ridge home, assisted in the publication and distribution of her husband’s Little News Rag, and volunteered to work on Clubhouse dinners and activities. For over 20 years in New Hampshire and Virginia she worked closely with her husband to collect needed items for veterans in VA hospitals and made numerous trips to the VA Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia to spend time with long term veterans who had no family visits.
A Private Family Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association Located at: P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011. To donate online access ALZ.ORG. To donate by Phone Call: 1-800-272-3900.