Louise Prugh Hutchinson, 92, passed away peacefully Dec. 12, 2008, in Spokane, Wash.
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Louise Field Magee II was born in Omaha, Neb., June 9, 1916, to Edith and Wayland Magee. She spent her early years on Summer Hill Farm in Bennington, Neb., and attended Benson High in Omaha. When her father was selected to the Federal Reserve Board their family moved to Washington, D.C., where she attended Chevy Chase High School. Louise graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1938 in home economics with an emphasis in clothing, textiles and interior design.
When Louise was 11 an event occurred that changed her life. One afternoon her father took her to see Charles Lindbergh land his plane at the Omaha Airfield. When her father introduced her to Mr. Lindbergh, she shook his hand and was speechless but knew that some day she would to learn to fly.
After college she moved to Chicago where she worked in the fashion department at Marshall Fields. The fashion field seemed to be her future but in 1941 the world changed. Louise wanted to contribute to the war effort so she took the opportunity to work in the aviation business for TWA which had contracts with the Army Air Corp.
In 1942 she married Norval Prugh and again moved to Washington, D .C., to work while he was sent to London with the Army. In 1945 she was the only woman to show up at the TWA employee flight school. After learning to fly she was transferred to New York where she was a flight attendant instructor for TWA which was now developing their international business. In 1946, TWA sent her to Geneva, Switzerland, where she trained flight personnel. From 1946 through 1947 she traveled with her husband throughout Europe and learned her favorite lifelong sport - skiing. Returning to Chicago and later moving to Detroit she had two children, Richard and Stephen.
In 1956 she moved to Spokane where she raised her family. In 1962 she began taking classes at Eastern Washington University received a master's degree in education. She began teaching at Eastern in 1964, in 1980 she became a full professor in charge of the fashion merchandising department and retired in 1985. She was later honored with the title of Professor Emeritus. During these years she returned to what she loved to do most – fly.
In 1972 she again took flying lessons and enrolled in ground school at Lorenger Aviation. Louise soon passed her commercial license exam and later became a Certified Flight Instructor. In 1977, in her own plane, Louise competed in the last Powder Puff Derby flying from Palm Springs to Tampa, Fla., she later flew her plane to Alaska, Central and South America as well as many destinations across the country.
Louise married Wayne Hutchinson in 1980 and they spent many enjoyable years flying, boating, traveling and working while always visiting family and friends. Louise marveled at the changes that took place in her lifetime as exemplified by her trip to Europe on the QE2 and return on the Concord. She will be remembered in part by her attitude and favorite saying "there is always a silver lining." Her family and friends will miss her dearly.
Louise is survived by her sons, Dick Prugh of Bozeman; Steve Prugh and wife Susan of Spokane; grandchildren: Hillary Prugh Carls and husband Tom of Bozeman, Corey Prugh of Spokane, Alex Prugh of Las Vegas, and John Prugh and Eddy Prugh of Bozeman.
Louise was preceded in death by her husband Wayne Hutchinson, her sister Marion Magee, and brothers Wayland Magee and Kim Magee.
Louise was a member of the 99's, Delta Gamma Sorority, South Hill Senior Citizens Center and Cheney Cowles Art Museum.
Memorial Services will be held at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church, 4102 S. Crestline St., Spokane, Wash., 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 22.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2008