“Delightful”, “Sweet”, “Warm”, “Welcoming”, “Fun”, “Positive” “Caring”, “Bubbly”, “A True Lady”, “Gracious”, “Faith”, “Friend to All”. These are the words that quickly come forth whenever you say the name of Louise Vesey. A scripture verse that hangs in her kitchen describes how she lived her life of 93 years: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Louise passed away peacefully to be with her Lord on November 2, 2017.
Louise Ann Strobl was born September 2, 1924 to Anton and Louisa Strobl, immigrants from Austria, and lived in New Rochelle, New York with her brother Anton and sister Pauline. She attended New Rochelle High where she played clarinet in the band. She still had her clarinet to her final day. She then attended Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City. She worked as a secretary for the George Mead Paper Corporation. Her salary was $18.50/week; she proclaimed proudly that after five years she saved $200!
Louise met Edward James Vesey after his service in WWII. Louise was part of the Catholic Women’s Club that sponsored a hayride for young people. Ed’s aunt, also a member of the club, made sure her handsome nephew, a pharmacy student at St. John’s University, had a blind date for that hayride with Louise! They were married October 9, 1948 when she was 24 years old. Ed was commissioned into the US Public Health Service as a hospital pharmacist. This position brought Louise and Ed to many different states: Baltimore, MD, Lexington, KY, Long Island, NY, Fort Worth, TX, Staten Island, NY and, finally, Mercer Island, WA in 1966.
The couple had five children, three girls and two boys. Her fondest memories are of family and friends on Mercer Island, her home for 51 years, where Louise was busy with church and school activities and playing bridge. She worked at C’est Cheese Deli, did private catering with a friend, and loved taking cooking classes. She worked as a volunteer at PACMED Hospital gift shop for 10 years where she was their best customer. Her last five years, she resided at Covenant Shores Retirement Community where she finally had a lake view and developed many dear friendships with residents and staff.
Louise is preceded in death by her husband Ed, a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary; by her sons Eddie Vesey and Paul Vesey and daughter Nancy Workman. She is survived by her sister, Pauline Santoro; her two daughters, Betsy Bowersox and Susan Willenbrock; two sons-in-laws, Scott Bowersox and Fred Willenbrock; six grandchildren David, Chris, Colin, Matt, Devon and Hannah and two great-grandchildren Carson and Kennedy.
A celebratory Mass will be held in her memory on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 11am at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, 4301 88th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island, WA. 98040. Donations in Louise’s memory may be made to: Covenant Shores Retirement Community – Benevolence Fund, 9150 Fortuna Dr., Mercer Island, WA. 98040.