Louise Marie Leslie
May 29, 1936 – June 9, 2016
The memorial service can be listened to by clicking the following link:
Louise Marie Leslie was born in Melrose Park, Illinois to Cecil and Gertrude Rodgers. Louise attended St. Paul Lutheran School through eighth grade in Melrose Park, followed by Walther Lutheran High School. Her hobbies included reading, piano and organ, babysitting her younger siblings Wayne and Susie, listening to and attending the Chicago Cubs ball games, and studying. She received excellent grades in all subjects.
ln 1951, the Rodgers family took a few months to travel westward in search of a new home. The main requirement to find a new home was to have a Lutheran school nearby for the children to attend. The family settled in Corvallis, Oregon and attended Zion Lutheran Church and School. After graduation from Corvallis High School, Louise choose to pursue a calling in teaching, especially elementary age students. She attended Concordia college in Oakland, CA, but then transferred to Concordia Junior College in Portland, OR. She became the first and only girl graduate in the Class of 1955, the first year the college became “coed.” Since 1954 she has participated with her classmates and roommates from Concordia in a “Coed” round-robin letter. Her last entry was submitted by her brother Wayne in May 2016.
After college, Louise’s life became an adventure of opportunities to serve God in many ways.
She first taught school in Twin Falls, lD, then in Sherwood, OR. She served as a parish worker at St. John’s Lutheran in Salem, OR. She worked at Bible Book House in Salem as a secretary and marketing director for teaching curriculum for churches and schools. She then went to work in Ventura, CA for “Gospel Light Publications.” She was again focusing on marketing curriculum for Sunday School and Vacation Bible Schools. She became acquainted with evangelist faith healer, Kathryn Kuhlman and her music team. Louise began traveling as Kathryn’s secretary and marketing of Kathryn’s books, music records, etc.
Louise’s next adventure was to work for a marketing research company in CA. There Louise met and married Jerold Leslie. They married on October 25, 1975 at Toluca Lake Trinity Church in Burbank, California. Soon after, Jerold and Louise moved to Corvallis, Oregon where they settled.
ln Corvallis, Louise still found opportunities to serve in teaching at Zion Lutheran Church, Corvallis and at New Life Center in Albany, OR. She also worked part time as a secretary to an attorney in Wilsonville, OR.
Louise and Jerry moved to Logsden, OR and began serving as the care givers for boys needing extra care at Mill Creek Youth Ranch, a ministry of Logsden Neighborhood Church, a multi-denominational ministry. She taught ACE curriculum to the boys at the ranch. They enjoyed taking the
boys on outings and to church activities, as well as, sharing with them God’s love and purpose for their lives.
Louise and Jerold loved to travel and spend time with their family and friends. Jerold passed away in 2011.
Louise was very involved for many years with LWML and the ladies’ programs at Peace Lutheran in Philomath, OR. She was a leader in so many
ways, and always looking for new and exciting projects for sharing God’s love. One friend described Louise as a “mover and shaker” to get things done. Her gift for seeing a need and then finding a way to fulfill it was inspiring.
Louise loved her siblings, extended family, nieces, nephews, and her “faith family” all over the world. She made a second or third trip to South Africa about two years ago to visit missionary Yvonne Gibson and friends. She even rode an elephant! She loved and pursued new adventures.
When Louise faced serious illness, she professed “knowing where she was going” and went forward with that attitude and faith. Louise will be missed by many. We are thankful for her life and celebrated her 80 years on May 29th. The choir members of Peace and other friends and family came to celebrate and we all enjoyed a hymn sing-a-long.
Louise is survived by her siblings Wayne Rodgers, Susan Mark and Rebecca Gaynor, her adopted son John Leslie and his children, as well as many nieces, nephews, church family and friends she loved as family. Louise was active in her church up to the time of her death. A memorial service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, Philomath, OR on July 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.