OSKALOOSA — Louise Spurgeon, longtime resident of Oskaloosa and active community member, died Nov. 21, 2013. She was 97 years old and had been residing at Grinnell Health Care Center for the past nine years.
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.
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 junior 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 Aids 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.