Louise Wilhelmina Feist

Louise Wilhelmina FeistLouise Wilhelmina Feist passed away peacefully, of natural causes, on Monday, March 28 in Arroyo Grande, CA.  She was 94.

Louise was born August 18, 1927 in New York City to John and Julia Gegner.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University, and a Master of Arts from Columbia University Teachers College.

She came to California in 1956, and lived and taught elementary school in Lone Pine.  Three weeks after arriving she climbed Mt. Whitney, and a year later she hiked the Grand Canyon.

She came to China Lake in 1957, and called the Indian Wells Valley home for 62 years, teaching and raising a family, until moving to Arroyo Grande in 2019.

Louise married Raymond W. Feist, an Engineer at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, in 1961, and they had three sons.  The family spent a great many weekends and vacations in the nearby mountains over the decades that followed: skiing, hiking, backpacking, fishing, canoeing, camping, and just enjoying the outdoors.  Louise always thought of the Eastern Sierra as “her part of the world,” especially the area around Mammoth Lakes.

After retirement Ray and Louise traveled to Europe, Hawaii, and other parts of the U.S.

Tragically, after 33 years of marriage, Louise lost her beloved husband unexpectedly in an accident in 1994.

Louise was a life-long learner and teacher.  She taught Elementary School at several grade levels, German, Mathematics, Home Economics, and English as a Second Language.  She had a delightful passion for board games and card games, especially backgammon and contract bridge.  She played piano, loved music in general, and enjoyed live theater and concerts.

She made friends easily and was always extremely appreciative of kind favors and gestures both small and large, and she constantly expressed her appreciation and love for her family and friends to an extraordinary degree.

She is survived by her son Barney, grand-children Elizabeth and Christopher of Maryland; son Curtis and daughter-in-law Kimberly of Medford, OR; son John and daughter-in-law Bridget Benson, grand-daughters Rayanne and Margot of San Luis Obispo, CA; sister Trudy Learman of North Carolina; and nephews John, Keith, and Mark Learman and families.  She was preceded in death by her sister Julie (Mady) McVay.

A funeral mass will be held at St Ann Catholic Church,  446 W. Church Ave., 11:00 am Saturday, April 23.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests you consider a donation to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, ssvpusa.org, or another charity that benefits children.

Story First Published: 2022-04-29