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Louise Leona Menn passed away peacefully on October 24, 2022, of natural causes at the age of 102. She is survived by her daughter Janet Menn of Natick, MA; grandson Nathan Edwards and wife Elena Bassett, and great granddaughters Paloma and Oriana Bassett-Edwards of Syracuse, NY; and granddaughters Alexis Edwards of Miami, FL, and Margot Edwards and husband Brian Coleman of Westborough, MA. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Louise is predeceased by her husband Donald Menn and Janet’s husband Gordon Edwards.
Louise was born Louise Numann on November 14, 1919, in Quincy, IL, to Bessie Jessup and Donald Numann. Louise was the oldest of 7 children and was the last surviving of her siblings. She grew up taking care of her younger siblings and rising early to milk the cows on the family farm. At the age of 18, she set out for Washington, DC, where she met and married Donald Menn, who worked as a photographer for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during and after World War II.
Louise and Donald settled in Arlington, VA, taking up residence in one of the first homes in the brand-new (at the time) post-war neighborhood of Leeway. Louise raised her daughter Janet there as a single mother after Donald’s untimely passing in 1957 and remained in the home for more than 60 years. In an era when many women didn’t have jobs outside the home, Louise worked for decades as a secretary for the OSS and for various real estate companies.
Louise was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her smile lit up when she was in the company of family, and she exuded warmth, kindness, and love. She was fiercely resilient, persevering through the Great Depression, World War II, loss, and adversity. Louise had a quick wit and a great laugh, cracking jokes until her final years. She was full of curiosity, joy, and zest for life.
Louise was well-known to her neighbors and active in the community in Arlington and forged many long-lasting friendships. After she retired, she became an enduring presence at the local senior center, participating in nearly every activity that was offered. She loved traveling and seized every opportunity to take trips organized by the center. Her travels took her to most U.S. states, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as to a number of countries around the world, including Egypt, Germany, Italy, Austria and Russia. Her favorite place to visit was Hawaii, which she traveled to on many occasions.
Louise had two great passions, dancing, particularly ballroom, tap and Hawaiian hula and gardening roses. Louise was an accomplished performer, traveling the area to perform her dance routines at events for seniors, children, and local community groups. She was also known to give performances for family and friends on special occasions. On several occasions, she had the honor of performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Louise was an active dancer until her late 90s. Louise was also accomplished at growing all manner of rose bushes. She even won national prizes for new miniature rose and heirloom varieties.
Louise lived independently in her home until the age of 95, before moving to Massachusetts, where she spent her final years at Sunrise of Wayland assisted living. At Sunrise, she remained active, participating in activities and day trips, and joining a choral group.
She cherished spending time with family and friends, many of whom traveled far and wide to celebrate her 100th birthday with her in 2019. Louise credited her incredible longevity to time spent dancing, gardening, and drinking milk. Her long and fruitful life touched the lives of countless others; she will be greatly missed.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a celebration of life which will be held on Saturday, November 5, at John Everett and Sons Funeral Home, NATICK COMMON at 3:00 pm. Interment will follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Natick.
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