Remembering Louise Rowles

An old family friend, Louise Rowles, died the end of August and her memorial service is this Sunday at the Park School in Brooklandville, Maryland. Long before I knew Louise and her husband Bill as good friends of my parents, Herman and Esta Maril, I knew Louise as Mrs. Rowles, my favorite librarian. As a student at The Park School from age five to age 18, I spent a lot of time at the library. It was a quiet soothing refuge, where adventures could be launched as intriguing books were discovered and read, sometimes sitting right there in the library, or at home after finishing my homework. I went through a lot of books, reading late into the night, and each time I returned to the library, Mrs. Rowles always had plenty of new suggestions.
Her warm soothing voice still sticks in my mind along with her generous open spirit. Louise is someone, who when you talked with her, you always felt she was listening and that she really cared about what you had to say. We spent a lot of time with the Rowles family through the years. I fondly remember the times we shared a Friday night post Thanksgiving dinner and the way Louise made everyone who walked into her home feel welcome. She was always open to trying new things, such as learning to scuba dive, and traveling to far and exotic places. As a young girl imagining what type of person I’d become when I was adult, she was a role model. A mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother who nurtured a large and sprawling family, she also had a career and reached out into the community in multiple ways at a time when not as many women successfully balanced family and career. Louise, in her supportive unassuming way, touched many lives. She will always be a part of mine.