Louise Guion (1924 - 2018)

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Service Information
Cremation Society of New Hampshire – Manchester
243 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH

LITCHFIELD, Conn. - Louise Farnam Harvey Guion was born May 21, 1924, to Katherine Kingsley Farnam and Dr. Samuel Clark Harvey, of New Haven, Connecticut. A cheerful, optimistic and adventurous child, Louise was always ready to lend a helping hand.
Raised in New Haven, she attended the Day School (later to be merged with the Hopkins School). Living near her maternal grandparents, as well as her school, Mom biked everywhere she could.
In 1938, a secondary home was found in Madison: an old farm atop a broad drumlin affording far-distant views to the Long Island Sound. Purchased as a retreat for her father, who had recurring bouts of TB acquired while a professor of surgical studies, the farm provided ample opportunities for Louise to build sheep pens, parade goats about on leashes, and ride her horse, Bill. It was from this home that she witnessed the '38 Hurricane, watching as stately elms were blown down in one direction, then picked back up and scattered in the other as the eye of the hurricane passed.
Off to college during World War II, Louise graduated from Vassar through an accelerated program, earning her bachelor's in sociology in 1945. Following the Hudson south, she landed in NYC, sharing an apartment with friends (who would remain so for life), getting her big-city experience, and working at the Sloan-Kettering Institute.
In 1952, Mom finally met Dad, at a party of mutual acquaintances in New Haven, she, having grown up there and he, having gone to Yale and Yale Law. They were both liberal politically, active physically, enjoyed the outdoors and neither was taller than 5'-7". Although 15 years her senior, their energies seemed very complimentary. However, she would always be the better golfer - by far.
Married on March 21, 1953, at the Center Church in New Haven, they began their domestic life in a little house located in the woodsy outskirts of Thomaston, Connecticut. Here, they had their first two daughters, Calli and Katie, as well as the first of many dogs, the 105-pound Lab named Muscles.
Moving to an old farm on Jefferson Hill in 1959 meant also moving back to Dad's hometown of Litchfield, Connecticut. Here, in fairly quick succession, they had a son and two more daughters (Hobie, Annie and Koo), plus more dogs, ponies, horses, a donkey, chickens, guinea pigs, gerbils and fish. Only in later years did we offspring realize that Mom's acquisition of these animals was, in no small way, to impart the important lessons of animal care and ownership; we did a lot of muckin' out.
With the daughters came Mom's involvement as a Brownie leader. With the horses came the daughters' involvement with Pony Club and Mom's endless shepherding of children and beasts to events - never mind the continuing care of these animals once all children had left for college and beyond. She did a lot of muckin' out.
When Mom wanted to expand the world for her offspring, she signed up for the Fresh Air Fund and hosted Walter for weeks every summer, giving her son another boy to play with, and all her offspring a chance to see life through another person's eyes. As her kids got older, Mom desired that they see even farther afield and signed up to be a host family for an AFS student, hosting Sylvie who would become our "French sister" and the start of what are now multi-generational connections between distant families of different nations.
To her community, Mom gave decades of volunteer time and organizational effort to both the League of Women Voters and Litchfield Community Services Fund.
Though she had blinding speed when running away from the spotlight, she was nevertheless a quiet competitor, accumulating a small pile of trophies from local golfing events, as well as a few accolades for her tennis. Mom was a beautiful skier. Without her, her offspring might never have learned to ski properly; Dad was old enough to have learned skiing by strapping old barrel staves on his feet.
In addition to being an intrepid traveler, bridge player and pianist, Mom was a lifelong music lover and supporter of the New Haven Symphony, having attended her first concerts while sharing, with her sister, Bet, the over-commodious seat custom-built for President Taft.
Always busy, she must have knitted a million sweaters.
Louise died in the early hours of Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. Besides her parents, Louise was predeceased by her husband, H. Gibson Guion; her brother, Samuel Clark Harvey; and her sister, Elizabeth Kingsley Harvey. She is survived by all her offspring and her "French daughter:" Calli Guion (Erik Blanchard), of Norwich, Vermont; Katherine Featherston (Barry Featherston), of Dublin, New Hampshire; Hobart Guion (Abigail Faulkner), of East Montpelier, Vermont; Ann Guion (Chuck Corman), of Newfane, Vermont; Koo Schadler (Jeffrey Schadler), of Alstead, New Hampshire; Sylvie Plantey (Patrick Plantey), of St. Nom la Bréteche, France. Louise leaves four grandchildren Lily and Ethan Featherston, and Henry and Eliza Guion.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.
The family extends special gratitude for the loving and thoughtful care given to Louise by the staff at RiverMead Retirement Community during her 14 years there and especially to the Assisted Living staff and Home Healthcare & Community Services in Keene, during her last week.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Litchfield Community Services Fund (litchfieldcommunityservicesfund.org), League of Women Voters of Litchfield County (litchfieldlwv.org) or The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (cfgnh.org).
Published in Times Argus on Sept. 1, 2018
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