Louise Rice Hassenplug, born in Ottawa, Illinois, and who spent her early years in Sheldon, died at age 87 at Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Center in Rock Hill, SC on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Rock Hill had been her home for almost 50 years.
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A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m on Friday, January 3, 2014 at the Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church with Reverend Mary Katherine Robinson officiating.
A private cremains service will be held prior to the memorial service.
She was the daughter of the late John B. and Virginia M. Rice and the widow of H. Fred Hassenplug who died in 2001.
She earned both undergraduate (1947) and master's degrees (1955) in Home Economics from the University of Illinois. She also attended Purdue University for additional graduate work where she met Fred.
Predeceased by her sister Mary Helen Deck, brother Tom Rice and a nephew, she is survived by sister-in-law Fern Rice and 5 nephews in Illinois. She is also survived by a niece, Carol Lewis and her husband Dick, of Maricopa, Arizona.
Louise taught at the University of Illinois where she was also involved in Extension work; the University of Louisville; and at Northwest Missouri State College before teaching at Winthrop College for 20 years in the School of Home Economics. She was President of the SC Home Economics Association in 1983-85. She was named Winthrop's Teacher of the Year in 1985 and retired in 1986. Later, she established the H. Fred and Louise Hassenplug Scholarship for early childhood education students at Winthrop University.
Following her retirement from Winthrop, Louise volunteered her time and talents at the York County Red Cross, in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, Friends of the York County Library and in the York County Literacy Program. Over the years she knitted and donated many hundreds of caps for distribution to underprivileged children. She made generous financial contributions as well to numerous nonprofit organizations in Rock Hill that served the needs of the community, especially the poor, the hungry, and those without medical care. She was a Life member of the American Association of University Women.
In 1986, Louise, with friends, organized the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill local affiliate. She served as President and in other officer positions of the affiliate over the years. In 1987 she was appointed by the Governor to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Commission, the first family member of a person with a brain disorder to serve in this position. Upon her leaving the Commission in 1993, the Commission established the Louise R. Hassenplug Award to be given each year to a person helping those with a brain disorder.
She was named Rock Hill Citizen of the Year in 1998 and was presented the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award in 2001. In 2005 the York County Red Cross Chapter House was named for her.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Children's Attention Home, P.O. Box 2912, Rock Hill, SC 29732, York County Free Clinic, P.O. Box 3123 Rock Hill, SC 29732 or Winthrop University, Rock Hill SC 29733.
Greene Funeral Home, Northwest Chapel, is serving the Hassenplug family.
Condolences may be made at greenefuneralhome.net.
Published in Times Republic on Jan. 6, 2014