A Live Lived: Louise Guy was known for her giving spirit

Published 12:08 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

There’s a quote that says: “If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full.”
Louise Guy’s family described her as a giver. “When you visited you didn’t leave without something in your hand or your heart,” said her daughter Elizabeth Guy. “She didn’t have a great deal, but she gave of what she had.”
Louise was the mother of six children, and practically raised them herself. She was preceded in death by a son, Donald Edward, who drowned when young in the Doe River at Christmas time.
She retired from the Carter County Health Dept., where she had worked as a clerk and dental assistant for over 30 years. Elizabeth said her mother at one time also worked as a substitute cook in the Carter County School System. “That is where she learned to make those good rolls,” she shared.
Elizabeth and her sister, Betty Vaughn, shared that their mother would sew all night for others, so her family would have something to eat the next day. “She didn’t give us what we wanted, but always gave us what we needed,” said Elizabeth.
“She was a most unselfish woman,” added Betty.
A sister, Shirley Smith, said Louise was 16 years old when she was born and gave “me my first bath.”
“We never had a cross word,” said Shirley.
For sure, Louise was a worker. She grew a vegetable garden and canned green beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables. “Mama put corn in the freezer, canned spaghetti sauce, and made freezer jam. Her banana-strawberry freezer jam was the best, and she wouldn’t share that recipe with anyone,” said Betty.
She also grew flowers. “Mama loved her flowers. She grew ferns, begonias, and tulips as well as other flowers,” said Elizabeth.
Betty shared that Louise was busy doing something all the time, and had made over 100 quilts. “She gave everyone a quilt,” said Elizabeth.
Both daughters oohed and aahed when they talk about their mother’s cooking. “You could’t beat her cornbread, soup beans and macaroni and cheese,” said Elizabeth.
When she was past 40 years of age, she taught herself to drive. “Mama, once she set her mind to do something, she did it,” said Elizabeth. “Mama would help me mow my yard and wash my house down. She taught her girls how to sew and cook, and she loved family gatherings and holidays, especially Christmas,” shared Elizabeth.
In addition to being a wonderful mother and provider for her family, Louise was a devout Christian and faithfully attended church as long as she able. She was a member of Valley Forge Christian Church and at one time taught the children in Sunday School.
“I wish I could be half the person that my mama was. She was so trusting, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She relied on her faith for so much,” said Elizabeth.
In addition to Elizabeth and Betty, Louise was mother to an older daughter, Patsy Holtsclaw, and two sons in addition to Donald — Glenn and Kenneth. She had 10 grandchildren.
Louise Guy never made the headlines in her lifetime, but she touched a lot of lives through her living and giving. She never had a lot to give in the way of material things, but she gave much more — herself.

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