Mrs. Louise W. Rounds, age 86, of Barker Lane, Warren, RI, died Saturday, December 18th at The Cove at Grace Barker in Warren surrounded by her loving family.
She was the wife of the late Fredric A Rounds who pre-deceased her in 2011, after having been married for 55 years.
Born in Wakefield, RI. to Donald and Harriet Willard, Louise has lived in Rhode Island for most of her life, though for a brief spell in seventh grade she was "surrounded by cornfields" in rural New Jersey. Her father, a military man, was stationed in New Brunswick, NJ. Beset with homesickness for Rhody's shoreline and beaches, Louise was not a fan of this isolated area, though she did enjoy having a dog named Mike. Eventually, her family came back to North Providence, Rhode Island. A preteen Louise ended up living with her grandmother in high school. Her grandmother was a strong loving force in her life and from her Louise acquired a fondness for gardening, as well as life-long affinities for reading, sewing and nursing-Louise's eventual profession. Louise had told her family that her grandmother "was not a nurse, but was very nurse-like,". As she progressed through high school, Louise’s perseverance and determination became deep-seated characteristics. In high school, for example, she was an avid reader and learner and when she met resistance when wanting to take extra classes such as science and math that girls did not normally take – “no” was not the answer Louise wanted to hear. Says Louise: "I wore them down by being persistent."
A lifelong and devoted Episcopalian, Louise was one of the original group of young men and women who worked to clear land and restore buildings at the Episcopal Conference Center (ECC) in Pascoag, RI in 1950-1951. It was there at 16 years old that she met her to-be husband Freddy. Upon graduating from North Providence High School in 1953, Louise enrolled in the Nursing Program at the Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing. She often recalled memories of those formative years: Sitting in her student nursing uniform on a 4:30 A.M morning bus to the Roger Williams Housing Project, syringes clinking in a black bag ; A student nurse who lied about a patient's temperature and was promptly expelled the same day ("That was an educational spark," Louise muses.); Hanging out with Freddy at Howard Johnson's, sipping a ginger ale float, racing back before a 10 P.M curfew to the student nurse home at RI Hospital. True to her perseverance and determination and passion for learning, Louise was one of only 40 students remaining from a class that began with 80 when they graduated in the Fall of 1956.
Louise and Freddy started their lives together in August of 1956, settling in Bristol, and soon she and Fred were rearing a family that would grow to three children. She followed her passion for her nursing career and her lifelong passion for learning and proudly earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Salve Regina University in 1976. Following her nursing career in positions at Hattie Ide Chaffee Nursing Home, the RI Veterans Home, Rhode Island Hospital, she ended her long career when she retired from St Elizabeth’s Nursing Care Center in Bristol in 2005. As her children grew older, the plot of Louise's life advanced towards her passion for gardening and volunteering in numerous organizations. Louise volunteered locally and often, helping elementary students at the Guiteras and Colt Andrews schools in Bristol improve their reading skills. She was a lifelong active communicant of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Bristol, volunteering often. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Audubon Education Center , Blithewold Gardens and Trinity Repertory and PPAC as an usher for many plays and shows. But her most passionate and pleasurable activity of sewing & quilting was what she truly blossomed in her later years, creating many wonderful quilts that her family will cherish for many years to come.
Louise also leaves the legacy of following in her grandmother’s footsteps by being an active and devoted grandmother to her seven grandchildren.
After the death of her husband and entering a period where her physical abilities were somewhat impaired by health issues, in 2012 Louise moved to The Willows Assisted Living in Warren. She continued to be a devoted gardener, an avid reader and a passionate sewer and quilter. Ever keen and knowledgeable about her own care and health, Louise held onto the acumen and attitude of her background in nursing. She often referred to having to “take off her nurse hat” at times.
She is survived by her children, Brad Rounds and his partner Frederick Graham, Thomas Rounds and his wife Kirsten and Martha Rounds, and her seven grandchildren.
She was pre-deceased by her brother Peter Kellogg Willard in 1988.
Her children would like to thank ALL the incredible staff at The Willows in Warren, especially director Paula Lage, for their devoted care of Louise over the years this was her home. We also would like to thank Dr Peter Barth and all the Nurses at the Fain Cancer Center at Miriam Hospital for their many years of care. And in her final months, the Team of HopeHealth Hospice and the staff at the Cove at Grace Barker and her private care givers from Access Health Care were her extended caregivers.
Funeral Services and burial will be private. Visiting Hours are respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution can be made to the Willows Activity Fund c/o Grace Barker Health 54 Barker Ave, Warren, RI 02885 or HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care 1085 No. Main Street Providence, RI 02904.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Louise W. Rounds, please visit our tribute store.