Temple remembers three ladies for December 2016 and honors Louise Sommers

By Norma Collins

UHC Secretary Norma Collins wrote this column for the December 2016 edition of Hadashot.

The three ladies we are remembering this month: Janet Meis Henry, Millie Felstein and Ruth Mitchell Ward.

Janet Meis Henry… Janet and her husband Stanley owned and operated The Fashion Clothing Store in Brazil and Poise’N’Ivy in Terre Haute as well as Video Connection. Janet was active in the Federation of Jewish Women and a member of United Hebrew Congregation. Janet also volunteered at the public library, teaching conversational English to Japanese-speaking professionals, and was a member of the YWCA.

Gertrude Shower… Gertrude and her husband Ralph were members of United Hebrew Congregation. She worked as a supervisor for 26 years at General Telephone. She had such a sweet kind voice and even now, one can almost hear her say, “Number, please”. After Ralph’s death, she resided at Westminster Village for 17 years. In previous years, Janet worked in defense industries in Indianapolis during World War II. She had a loving family and a special niece, Martha Dennis Christiansen.

Our third lady to remember this month was not a member of UHC but certainly has a daughter who is very dedicated to UHC Sisterhood, religious school and donating to charity in the community: Patty Lewis’s mother, Ruth Mitchell Ward. Ruth worked for the Great Scott grocery store and in the plating department at CBS Records. She was a member of Lawton Byrum Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 972 Auxiliary. She was president of her bowling league for 22 years and was voted into the Terre Haute Bowling Hall of Fame.

Louise Sommers is still sowing a garden of smiles

Louise Sommers during recent Veterans Day Shabbat at Westminster Village.

This month, we want to honor a special lady in our congregation, Louise Sommers. Louise is a long-time member of United Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood, making sure we had a New Year’s Greeting bulletin along with co-chair Sunny Cohen. She worked faithfully at Clothes Closet.

Louise supported many other activities at the Temple and in the community. If there was food to contribute for Temple functions, Louise’s English cucumber salad was a hit. For many years on Secretaries Day, Louise and husband Walter would purchase tulips to benefit Hospice of the Wabash Valley and deliver them early in the morning to secretaries throughout the Wabash Valley.

It was never about Louise but how she could make someone’s day brighter. Having mentioned all this, her main focus was on her family. When you visit Louise, you will see an array of family pictures on the wall. Louise would host many Boy Scout troops in her basement, where Louise taught them to craft. I’m sure Louise’s son Ron enjoyed this so much and I’m sure her daughter Nancy has many stories to share with us as well.

In summary, we could all say if we had a flower for every time Louise made us smile, we would have a garden to walk in forever. Each time we see Louise, she has this big smile that just makes anyone’s day brighter.

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