March 17, 1930 – March 28, 2013
Louise V. Gammon, 83, died in the company of her family on Thursday, March 28, 2013. She was in hospice care at the Boone County Hospital after developing pneumonia while recovering from a fractured hip. She was residing in her daughter’s home at the time of her death.
Louise Victoria Moore was born March 17, 1930, at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, Iowa, along with a twin brother, to Ralph Brown and Franzeska (Frances) Voltmer Moore. She was one of eleven children.
Times were tough during the Great Depression and she learned to be thrifty and self-sufficient. The family raised chickens and their own meat, and had an extensive vegetable garden. Fish were taken from the Iowa River just down the road from the homestead. Although money was scarce, there was always room for a neighbor or friend at the family table. She grew up in a time when several children shared a single feather bed, midnight trips to the little house out back were the norm, and grade school was held in a one-room schoolhouse. She spoke of her memories of the school’s water pump that produced mostly nightcrawlers until it was pumped many times, and then all the children drinking from a single tin cup. She and twin brother Lewis sang a country-western song for their class, and afterwards the teacher admonished her for not participating more. Little did the teacher know what she really thought of country music! In eighth grade she and friend Ardis competed in the County Spelling Bee, missing many days of recess to practice. She was glad to move up to the brick high school where students could see out the window. There she participated in the Montour Band and Glee Club. She fondly remembered competing with another classmate, Lyle, in speech class, but was disappointed to come in second place.
After graduation from Montour High School in 1947, she worked for Gamble-Skogmo in Marshalltown and attended CIBC. During this time she cleaned house for room and board, living with the family of a local physician, Dr. Shimodo. She was soon offered a promotion to the office in Chicago, but because she was only 17 her mother declined permission. She then moved to Ames to work as a senior ticket agent for Greyhound Bus Lines. It was there she met the true love of her life and married Paul A. Gammon on July 14, 1960 in Omaha, Nebraska. She gained a stepson in Carey and together they had daughter Cindy.
Louise took great pride in her home and family and dedicated herself to that life. She was a creative person in many ways, sewing and crocheting but two. Little children brought the smile to her face. She constructed her young daughter’s clothes and made many baby quilts and crochet dolls for family members. In their younger years she and Paul bought and refurbished several properties, and she was skilled in refinishing furniture and woodwork. She enjoyed her flower garden and doing yardwork, and was seen attending to the lawn until the last two years of her life. She was kind to animals and had a knack for befriending the neighborhood squirrels, feeding them chocolate chip cookies that they would take from her hand. She also gave the squirrels pecans, teasing her stepson and son-in-law because they were great fans of her pecan pies.
While she was a private and opinionated person, she enjoyed conversing with her neighbors. She often made her famous caramel corn for family and friends, and the firefighters at the station down the street.
She is survived by daughter, Cindy (Steve) Capellen, of Boone; step-son Carey (LaVonne) Gammon of Ames; their sons Chad (Lisa) Gammon and daughters, Kaitlyn and Laurel, Cedar Rapids; Kirk (Kim) Gammon and children, Hailey, Grant and Cole, Eden Prairie, MN; four sisters, Mary Wernecke, Fountain Hills, AZ, Cora Thorburn and Gloria Simco, Mesa, AZ; Karen (Blair) Hawn, Glendale, AZ; and many extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, two sisters, Edith and Nancy, and four brothers, Ralph, John, Lewis and Walter.
A graveside service of interment will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at eleven o’clock am at Story Memorial Gardens, 3215 S. Duff Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010.Information provided by: Memorial Services of Iowa 4208 North Ankeny Blvd Ankeny, IA 50023 515.964.0592 www.memorialservicesofiowa.com