November 25, 2013


MARCH 6, 1916 — NOV. 21, 2013

The Oskaloosa Herald


Louise Spurgeon, long-time resident of Oskaloosa and active community member, died Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. She was 97 years old, and had been residing at Grinnell Health Care Center for the past nine years.

An Oskaloosa resident from 1947-2004, Louise’s interests and talents focused on family, neighbors, church and her children’s schools. As a member of Central United Methodist Church, she was a Sunday School teacher, United Methodist Women member, a tireless kitchen worker and wedding reception organizer, and Choir Mother for many years. As part of the leadership team of the local PTA, Louise helped organize and facilitate the 1956 Mothers’ March campaign, which was successful in passing the school bond issue to build a new high school, and make repairs and additions to the Jr. High and several elementary buildings.

In addition to her volunteer activities and while a stay-at-home mom, Louise often gave hair perms to neighbors and friends, and later became a consultant and distributor of cosmetics for the Beauty Counselor company. Her employment outside the home began as Financial Secretary at Central United Methodist Church. She later became the Financial Aid Office Secretary at William Penn College, where she worked until her retirement in 1981. Other community organizations Louise enjoyed were the International Order of King’s Daughters and Sons, Hospice of Mahaska County, Mahaska County Hospital Auxiliary, Mahaska County Conservation Board, Oskaloosa Women’s Club, Friends of the Fine Arts (William Penn College), Ecumenical Cupboard, and the Girl Scouts, serving as a leader for many years. Louise enjoyed music, gardening, feeding and watching birds (including the neighborhood owl family), sewing, furniture refinishing, reading, cooking and baking, and spending time with her family. She was a strong supporter of her children’s and grandchildren’s activities.

Frances Louise Whisler was born March 6, 1916, in Paris (Bunch), Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Jessie Moore Whisler. She grew up in an agricultural setting, in a family which produced eight children and a strong work ethic. After graduating from Centerville High School in 1934 she attended Thompson’s Rudemar School of Beauty Culture, and worked for several years at Nelle-Rene Beauty Shop in Ottumwa. In 1942, she married Leonard Spurgeon and they became parents of two daughters.


In addition to their two daughters: Marilyn (Bob) Boyle, of Dexter; and Janice (Tom) Palmer, of Oskaloosa, her family includes six grandchildren: Jill (Chris) Harris, of Grinnell; Amy Cline, of Adel; Paula (John) Cline Rasmussen, of Pleasant Hill; Jessica (Tom) Spencer, of Creston; Katy Palmer, of Westfield, Ind.; and Erica (Josh) Johnson, of Des Moines; and two step-grandchildren: Terri Golightly and Kathi Boyle. Seven great-grandchildren include: Rebecca Harris, of Denver, Colo.; Jacob Harris, of Grinnell; Caleb Cline and Ruth Rasmussen, of Pleasant Hill; Zebin Kester, of Dexter; and Gracelyn and Marlee Spencer, of Creston. Also, one sister-in-law: Barbara Whisler, of Columbus, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband Leonard, Louise was preceded in death by her parents, five sisters: Leone McCreary, Ruth Whisler, Maude Chapman, Olive Augspurger, Aletha Halden; two brothers: Albert Whisler and Richard Whisler; and one grandson, Scott Cline.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 10:30 a.m. at Bates Funeral Chapel with Pastor Tom Palmer officiating. Visitation with the family will be Tuesday, Nov. 26, 5-7 p.m. at Bates. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Memorials may be directed to Central United Methodist Church or the Ecumenical Cupboard.

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