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Memorial for Louisa Elliot

by Chuck Warwick

Chuck Warwick was Principal at MDR High School from 1952-1957. He is retired and living in Urbana. To learn more about Mr. Warwick, click here.
My wife Betty and I are deeply grateful for the opportunity to participate in this memorial service for our beloved friend Louisa Elliott. We first met Louisa in 1952 when I became the high school principal at Minonk. Both the Elliott and Warwick families attended the Presbyterian Church where Louisa taught the preschoolers. Her daughter, Mary Anne, and our two sons, Charlie and Mark, were among those who had the privilege of being tutored by this faithful follower in the ways of the Lord. She was a kind, gentle, sincere, loving, and devoted Christian. She taught both by the "Word" and personal example. Our sons still have fond memories of being in Louisa's Sunday school class.

Louisa and Mary Anne's dad, Tink, met in Metamora where Louisa was a schoolteacher. At that time Tink was a traveling bread salesman who lived in Minonk. To say the least, it was an interesting match-up--a refined schoolteacher from the Dakotas with an extroverted native of Kentucky. While Louisa had a quiet sense of humor, Tink's humor was more on the rowdy side. Nevertheless, they loved each other with all their hearts and were superb parents.

The evidence is right in front of us. Mary Anne Elliott Proudfoot and her husband David Proudfoot are kind and considerate persons. About two years ago, they invited Betty and me to attend a special luncheon prepared for Louisa at The Meadows. They had arranged to have this meal in a private room. They had brought Louisa's china and silverware along with other personal belongings from her former home in Minonk. It was a reminder of better days when she was healthy and vigorous. Even though Louisa had to be spoon fed by Mary Anne, she was smiling.

In her Minonk heydays, Louisa was the consummate good neighbor. For example, when my Betty was incapacitated by a fall, Louisa brought dinner to our home for the entire family. If any of her friends had a problem, Louisa was always there to help out. While she had strong opinions on many subjects, she always respected the right of others to disagree. Her daily actions demonstrated her Christian faith.

Betty and I have firsthand knowledge about Louisa's long bout with Multiple Sclerosis. Our two daughters, Susie and Joyce, have MS. Although their periods of severe physical deprivation have been of short duration so far, we have some understanding what Louisa has gone through. Despite her deteriorating health during her 18 years at The Meadows, Louisa has always been a positive thinker. As long as she could write letters to friends, she did so. When she could no longer write, she kept in touch with friends by dictating letters. As long as she could hold a book in her hands, she spent many enjoyable hours reading.

Louisa was too busy trying to help others at The Meadows to dwell on her misfortune of having a permanent debilitating illness. When Betty and I visited Louisa, we often had animated discussions about numerous topics. Spending time with Louisa was always a stimulating and inspiring experience.

Louisa, we miss you very much, but we are happy for you. You and Tink are with each other in heaven. Your physical pains and weaknesses are gone, and the two of you are with our Lord. You have truly been a great blessing to your many friends. In return, may God bless you throughout eternity.

Chuck & Betty Warwick - June 20, 1999