The Story Behind the Name: in memory of Louise Adele Thacker Maurer

Now the baby genealogist’s middle name Louise comes from my husband’s side of the family.  We got it from the only grandparent he remembers as a kid. We thought it would be a sweet tribute to her and that it goes well with the name Adaline. We interviewed Addi’s grandpa who is Louise’s son and got some great info and stories to share!

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Louise Adele Thacker was born on June 25, 1926 in Longbeach, California.  Her parents were Gerald Quincy Thacker and Florence Grace Pettes. She only had one younger brother,  William Arnold,  whom they called Bill.

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She married Alan Max Maurer on September 14, 1947 in Washington on a military base. “She and him were set up as a blind date  when he was in the Navy. And I think it was in San Diego or LA somewhere. One of those two places. And he didn’t want to go because he says you know how blind dates are. You know, probably 90% chance you won’t get along and it won’t be the greatest. But when they got there to pick her up, he was standing down in the living room and he saw her coming down the stairs. First time he ever saw her, he just fell in love with her. He said she was so beautiful coming down the stairs, he just couldn’t believe it. So they dated as things go.”

She loved to dance and learned to do the hula.  She even performed in competitions! “I always thought my mom was beautiful. The earliest memories I have of my mom is she was tall, she was slender, she was beautiful and very very brave. Very brave, a lot of courage. Mom, while she was in Hawaii, mom learned to dance the hula and yeah she had a grass skirt and she had the gourdes. The gourdes had flowers on the top and they were just rattly gourdes at the bottom and they were made for dancing, for hulas. She knew quite a few Hawaiian dances, so she would get all dressed up in her grass skirt and her colorful dress, you know and quite often we saw her practicing. We could watch her while she practiced at home. She put on the Hawaiian music and she was really good. She was a good dancer. As she got older, she began to lose some of that coordination that she had when she was younger. She would go and do dances for church gatherings and things like that. Competitions and things like that. But as she got older, she lost some of that flexibility and one time she was dancing and practicing at home and she tripped and fell and hurt her ankle really bad. And she kind of always had a little limp you know after that. But she still danced, she still did dances and things. And then every time she did dances after that, I was worried she would trip and fall again. But she was a beautiful hula dancer. Even in her middle age she was.”

She had a love for giraffes,  jewelry, and anything Hawaiian. Addi and I also love giraffes.

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“Oh yeah, she loved jewelry. She loved clothes and she loved jewelry. She had a huge collection of jewelry.  She had tea cups family heirlooms. Tea cups and family china and she liked to sit and go over those and clean them. I remember she loved to clean, periodically she had to clean the silverware, you know? She liked to take the silverware out and lay it all out. Show me how to polish it. I’d go up and see what she was doing. She showed me how to polish and clean the silverware, because the old actual silverware which you don’t see much of anymore, it would tarnish over time. She loved turquoise and silver. So she had a lot of those pieces. 

Oh she loved giraffes. That’s a thing she and her mom shared. Her mom loved giraffes. So when I was a kid, she would give us giraffes too. And she had this huge collection of giraffes. Yeah her friends would give her, our family would give her, you know. But she just loved giraffes and so she had… I remember when we went to the zoo as a family, Mom always wanted to see the giraffes and the elephants. Those are her favorites. And she had this huge collection of giraffes by the time she was old. She had stuffed giraffes she would give away to the family cause she had so many of them. She had stuffed giraffes, big and little. She had little porcelain giraffes and crystal giraffes and peuter giraffes, all kinds of giraffes. What else did she love dear? Jewelry, giraffes, clothes.”

She became a librarian for a university in Oklahoma while they lived there. She would work the night shift and take care of the kids during the day while her husband did a lot of traveling with work.

She had some struggles in life. “Dad was gone a lot more and Mom began to show more signs of stress about it. And sometimes she would get these headaches, these migraine headaches. She would go in her room just with the door shut for hours and if we went in her room to talk to her, she had like a cold wet cloth on her forehead or something or sometimes she used ice packs you know. Those migraines would lay her out for days. So a lot of the times now by this time we were probably about fifth grade maybe. I was about fifth grade.”

Before Dad passed away, he was really getting ill but they were out shopping one day and Grandma, my mom, suddenly just stopped doing everything she was doing and then she kind of collapsed there in the store, grocery store. And so when Dad got her home, she was really not able to talk very well, was kind of disoriented, so he took her to the hospital. And they didn’t diagnose her as having a stroke but she might’ve had a really common [TIA] which is kind of a small pre-stroke type thing where you often lose control of being able to talk. You sit there and you want to talk but you can’t talk, which to me would be a really bad experience. She gradually recovered and took her about a week in the hospital. And when she came home, she was convinced that she had a stroke but Dad didn’t believe she’d had a stroke so they disagreed about that to the point that whenever we would come over and she wanted to start talking about her stroke and Dad would shut it right down. He said, “no you didn’t, don’t talk about this. You didn’t have a stroke. You got weak and you fainted, collapsed, but you did not have a stroke.” And she’d say, “yes I did, I really had a stroke.”  They could never agree on it so Dad finally told her just to not talk about it. That came up a couple of times.”

Louise died while living in a care center in Idaho on March 20, 2001. She died in the hospital due to several strokes. She was buried next to her husband in Salt Lake City,  Utah.

Stay tuned for a post of memories from other family members!

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