Cover photo for Louise Irene Eastland's Obituary
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1927 Louise 2024

Louise Irene Eastland

July 15, 1927 — May 10, 2024

Cambridge

Louise Irene Eastland (Lyon), age 96, left this earthly realm, surrounded by family, on May 10, 2024 while living with her daughter Virginia and son-in-law Richard, in Cambridge, Wisconsin. She was lovingly cared for and lived heroically with Alzheimer's disease for the last 6 years of her impactful life. Louise’s doting daughter, Kathy, and her husband traveled routinely, along with her son, Mark, to provide respite care. Her son-in-law meticulously kept Louise clean, comfortable and entertained, while her daughter oversaw her health and nutritional needs like a mother lion. Louise was dressed impeccably each day in a fashionable outfit, complete with matching scarf and jewelry.

Louise was born on July 15, 1927 in Paxton, Nebraska to Merle Melancott and Teddi Kathleen Lyon (Sager). She was valedictorian of her high school class and attended college at Nebraska Wesleyan. There she met Allen Curtis Eastland at a young adult dance and after dating a short while, they married on June 1,1947. Louise and Allen shared a common spiritual underpinning and Allen felt called to the ministryLouise was a devoted and active pastor’s wife.  In Allen’s final years of college and his early years in the ministry, Louise gave birth to four children.

Louise then finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa, after working as a T.A. with the esteemed Speech Pathologist, Wendall Johnson. Louise went on to teach 5th and 6th grade in West Branch, Iowa and at Lucas and Lincoln Elementary Schools in Iowa City, Iowa. She was a revered teacher, and she enjoyed pre-teen students and writing curriculum for the district. The drug education program she helped develop was used for many years.

Later, Louise pursued a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Iowa and became a High School Guidance Counselor at West High in Iowa City. She found great satisfaction and joy working with youth, supporting their college plans, and helping them through their teen struggles until her retirement in 1988.

In retirement, she and Allen moved to Central California where she continued to be involved in church and community projects and made many life-long friends. One of her gifts was that she was easy to talk to and made friends wherever she went.

Louise and Al then moved to Sun City, Arizona where she was a weekly helper in her daughter’s Kindergarten class. She relished being able to assist her granddaughters with their school projects.  During this time, she built many fondmemories with her son, David, and daughter-in-law, Tricia, who lived with them for a season before moving to Australia. Louise wrote and performed classroom reenactments of the prairie life of her ancestors who had traveled the Oregon Trail in the late 1800s in a covered wagon.  She was proud of her brave Sager relatives who had a number of books written about them,documenting their exciting and precarious journey. The strength and fortitude her forebears exhibited was passed on to Louise. From Sun City, they spent 5 wonderful years in their son Mark’s home, returning to their much-loved California. After her beloved Allen passed, Louise moved in with her daughter to Wisconsin.

In her retirement, Louise sewed quilts, enjoyed crosswords and reading and sang beautifully with the Sweet Adelines and the Sun City Women’s Choir.  Her favorite pastimes were talking to her children and watching her grandchildren in their sports, recitals, or school plays. Her grandchildren recall with delight dozens of rousing games of Skip Bo with grandma. Louise was easily brought to tears, with a heart that felt deeply for others. She gave generously to a variety of charities and was known to slip a few dollars to her grandchildren on the sly.

Louise is survived by her four children David (Tricia) of Australia, Katherine (Sverre) Martinsen of Pasadena, CAVirginia (Richard) Becker of Cambridge, Wisconsin and Markof San Jose, CA.  She has 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren: Christian (Sue) Martinsen and children Finn, Judah, Eloise, Celina & Aria, Tomas Martinsen, Kaitlin Eastland, Erik (Jessica) Eastland, Audra (Miles) Bryan and daughter Addison, and Allie (Cole) Williams and their children Lucas & Elizabeth. She was preceded in death by her partner in life, Allen C. Eastland, her parents, and her sisters EvelynKeesecker and Marie Brown and brothers Lowell and BudGibson.

Despite her mental and physical decline, Louise maintained a kindness and sweetness that touched many lives. Her concern and prayers for her children and the world were inspirational and foundational to her family, which includes several pastors, medical professionals and researchers, counselors, and teachers. She will be greatly missed. The family wishes to thank the kind Agrace hospice nurses and CNAs that provided comfort and care in her final years.

Louise loved to give and receive sweet kisses. She could often be heard ending a family visit with the phrase “I love you oodles, Toodles,” or “I love you a bushel and a peck.” 

Later this fall, the family will gather in California to celebrate Louise’s life. Louise would be thrilled to have monetary support of the Alzheimer’s research lab in which her granddaughter,and her husband, are currently working on an antibody therapeutic/vaccine. Online gift: https://give.unc.edu/gift/liea.   Or, memorial donations can be sent to Agrace Foundation 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.

Please share your memories of Louise by posting in her Guestbook.
Cress Funeral Service
5801 Highway 51, PO Box 105, McFarland 
(608) 838-0655
To order memorial trees in memory of Louise Irene Eastland, please visit our tree store.

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