Louise Grube’s long fingers hold the memory of once sowing countless daffodils, and her tautly made bed displays a long-limbed doll—one of thousands she helped craft for motherless children. But Louise has had a lot of time to help a lot of people.
But first, there was World War I and the Great Depression. As she was born May 29, 1914, Louise’s birth actually predates both of those, but they shaped the rest of her life and that of her sister, Anna. The two were inseparable in life and in service. As the hardworking daughters of an electrician aiding the war effort at home, Louise relates, “Anna Frances took up sewing; I took up salesmanship.” But come their adulthood, nobody was buying, and the sisters’ career prospects were slim. “It was the Depression,” Louise says flatly. “That was bad.” However, love still flourished, and the two created dresses for local brides.
While the Parkland neighborhood natives themselves never married, they never stopped working to make life more beautiful, whether with a needle or with a trowel. Louise and Anna cultivated daffodils in the “good ground”—a favorite expression of Louise’s—as gifts for nursing home residents. “I’d pray for good weather; Anna Frances would pray for enough to go around,” Louise says. With their fellow Evangelical parishioners, the sisters also made 2,500 dolls for the German Protestant Orphans’ Home. Louise puts her motivation simply: “We were glad we could work with our hands and help people so they didn’t have to feel like they were alone.” Louise and Anna moved to Westminster Terrace in September of 2000. Anna died in 2006, but Louise continued volunteering at the health center and at the hospitality desk until a blood clot and diminishing vision curbed her activity; she moved to the Rose Anna Hughes facility earlier this year. It is her home now, even though the money ran out a long time ago. “They took care of us,” she says, “and we enjoyed doing things for them.”
To help contribute to the care of residents like Louise, visit the Caring Hands Fund page.
by Eve Lee