SIDNEY — Louise Arlene Koenig expired gracefully on May 26, 2014, at 8:56 a.m. in her suite at Dorothy Love retirement community. With her at that time were her husband, Raymond, and her son, Christian.
For several years Louise has contended with a progressive neurodegenerative condition finally diagnosed as Frontotemporal Degeneration. Her extended disease gradually took her sweet, positive personality; all her cognitive skills; and, finally, her motor skills. She handled each stage of her condition with steadfast courage and with amazing equanimity.
Louise's life was all about family, friends and travel. Born to Joseph and Mary Grillot in Dayton, Ohio, on May 9,1946, and raised in Russia, Ohio; she maintained large family roots and values even as she met and befriended people from, literally, all over the world. She attended Ohio University and then worked in the insurance industry until she was selected for her ideal job as a stewardess for United Air Lines where she flew domestic routes based from Chicago and Los Angeles. Although she was required to resign her dream job when she married Ray, a change in employment law allowed her to reapply. She was subsequently selected by Trans World Airlines as a flight attendant on their international routes. For 20 years Louise commuted to New York (JFK) to work flights to/from Europe, Asia, and Africa. As she bussed from Laguardia to JFK, she often passed the 1964 World's Fair site. And the Fair's motto soon became her philosophy – "Peace Through Understanding."
Louise viewed travel, new experiences, new friends, and new ideas as the best possible education. She had strong empathy for others opinions and feelings; and was often engaged in helping others to achieve their goals. In Shelby County she was a leader with the Arts Council (Designer Show Houses, Arts in the Garden), and a Big Sister to two young ladies. When she retired from TWA, she did continue to meet new people as a real estate agent, giving up that vocation as Christian became more involved in school/athletic activities.
In addition to Ray, her husband of 45 years, and her son, Christian; Louise is survived by Christian's partner, Jacqueline Buschur, and a granddaughter, Cameron Louise Koenig. Also living are seven married sisters, Annette (Jerome) Goldschmidt, Patricia (Ronald) Francis, Mary Jo (Robert) Ennecking, Carol (Robert) Huecker, Joan (Michael) Donauer, Barbara (Daniel) Creagan and Nancy (Lynn) Maurer. Ray's parents, his 10 siblings, and their spouses have also become her family over the years; as has Louise's exchange student son, Dr. Tiago de Souza, and his family from Brazil.
Louise has made and kept so many loyal friends from each stage of her life – grade school and high school, college years, airlines, Ray's grad school, neighborhood and community, golf club …. So very many, collectively they are all FoLs (Friends of Louise).
Louise's diagnosis is relatively rare and she is therefore donating critical organs for medical research through the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati. Autopsies will be performed by neuropathologists at the Indiana University Brain Bank and by genetic specialists at the University of Milan, Italy. Her remains will be cremated and returned to earth at places very special to Louise.
Before the cremation a private funeral service respecting and sanctifying Louise's life will be offered by the Rev. Dan Schmitmeyer at Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home (for immediate family only). As Louise requested, Ray will be especially honored to offer her eulogy.
Memorials to Louise may be made to a charity/cause of the donor's choice. Condolences may be expressed to the Koenig family on Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home's website at www.salm-mcgillandtangemanfh.com.
To remember and celebrate so much positive of Louise's life, Ray and Christian will host an open house on Saturday, June 21, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their home at 901 Arrowhead Drive, Sidney. Although saddened by her passing, we have not lost Louise; her homes, her many scrapbooks, her photos and memorabilia and her own written memoirs are all so current. Her infectious enthusiasm, her sincere understanding, her exacting standards, her warm smile and bright eyes – will be with us always.