Something as simple as telephone calls can renew an avalanche of memories and launch a simple project that will eventually result in much happiness.
I speak of recent telephone calls, one from a mother and one from her son. Neither knew the other was calling me. Both calls precipitated this column about my Union County Classmate, then Loujine Young, now Loujine Young Shuler, who went out from Union County and did well as wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and professional woman.
Let me quickly note that neither Loujine nor her son Carl remotely suggested I write about Loujine. They are too humble and unpretentious to seek publicity at all. To write about her is my own idea, my choice. But let me get on with the subject at hand, that of noting some of Loujine Young Shuler’s accomplishments and why Union County can be proud of this just-about-to-turn octogenarian.
And if you are a friend to Loujine, know her now or knew her in the past when she lived and grew up in Union County, will you please take the time to send her a birthday card. Loujine’s son Carl Shuler and her daughter Gwendolyn Shuler Hanson are both hoping a virtual “shower of cards” of good wishes will be sent to their beloved mother on or before her 80th birthday on April 10. Right now, Loujine is temporarily in Arizona with her granddaughter Jodie and may be addressed at Mrs. Loujine Y. Shuler, 21875 West Casey Lane, Buckeye, AZ 85326. Loujine will be returning soon to her home in northern Colorado where she spends the “warm” months of the year and may be addressed there at P. O. Box 296, Walden, CO 80480-0296.
Loujine Young was born April 10, 1930 to Joseph Benjamin Ezekiel Young (Dec. 18, 1891-May 3, 1931) and Birdie Maybelle Ingram Young (Sep. 25, 1896-Jul. 15, 1997). She was the youngest of five children. Her siblings were Ray Alan Young (1920-1941) who married Juanita Thomas; Clara Pauline Young (1922 - 1999) who married Howard McCarter; Joseph Benjamin (J. B.) Young (1924-1994) who married Dortha Pauline Henderson; and Floyd James Young (1927-1984) who married Alice Kathleen Freeman.
Loujine’s father, Zeke Young, died when Loujine was just a year old. Her mother worked hard to keep house and home together and rear the children to be solid, productive citizens during the hard times of the Depression, World War II, and the children’s “growing up” years.
I met Loujine first when we both became students of Union County High School, Blairsville, in our “Fabulous Class of 1947”. I was a country girl who had gone to Choestoe Elementary School. Loujine was a “town girl,” having grown up in Blairsville, attending Blairsville Elementary. We enjoyed having classes together and developing a lasting friendship. Loujine stated in memoirs for the Class of 1947’s 50th Reunion Book distributed when we had a grand reunion in 1997 that she liked mathematics best of all her subjects, as “it helped her much in her later work.” We both have the late Mrs. Dora Hunter Allison Spiva to thank for our love for and whatever proficiency in math we have. Loujine was also athletic in nature, and played on the Union County girls’ basketball team.
In those years from 1943 through 1947 when we were in school, any basketball we played was on an outside court, for our school did not then have a gymnasium for our practice, games or athletic gatherings. In recalling those days of playing basketball, Loujine wrote, “When we went to schools with hardwood gym floors, our ball did some strange things. It was a challenge, but we still won games.”
Loujine and Vester Eugene “Gene” Shuler, son of Murphy Jane Fortenberry Shuler and Marion Shuler, were married July 17, 1948. The young couple settled down in northern Colorado in a town called Walden. Eugene worked as a maintenance supervisor and Loujine began her career as a postmaster at Walden in 1959, continuing that job for 33 years until her retirement on October 4, 1992.
Loujine and Eugene had two children, son Carl who married Patty Hines (a teacher) and Gwendolyn Shuler who married Kirk Hanson. Loujine delights in her grandchildren, Matthew Allen, Joie, and Adam Shuler and Jodie and Deanna Hanson. I haven’t a current count or names or number of great grandchildren (sorry, Loujine!).
Eugene, Loujine’s companion of more than sixty years, died October 30, 2007. Eugene was known for his hunting trips, they both liked to travel, and Eugene played his fiddle for many a gathering, especially the famed “Georgia Picnic” in Eaton, Colorado the last Sunday of August each year.
As postmaster at Walden, Colorado for 33 years, Loujine was well respected in the community and earned many rewards for her service as both postmaster and citizen. In 1990, the great Christmas Tree that was taken to Washington, D. C. to be placed on the White House lawn was gathered from near Walden. Loujine assisted with fundraising to get the tree transported and was able to go to Washington for its placement and lighting.
She also was active in preserving local history in Walden and received recognition for the special stamps, dyes and other items she promoted to help Walden be known throughout Colorado and even in the United States. This lady, well-reared by her beloved mother Birdie Ingram Young, and well-grounded in principles of faith, family and work ethic, went out from Union County and lighted up another place, a town called Walden. She and Eugene were active in Walden Baptist Church, and reared their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In talking to Carl, their son, I find that he and his wife Patty enjoy providing music at worship services, Carl on guitar (having perhaps inherited his father’s love for producing instrumental music) and his wife Patty playing piano. So the talent goes on from Gene (and maybe Loujine, too) to the next generation.
In giving advice to the Class of 1947, Loujine said: “Enjoy life to the fullest each day you live. The golden years will be so full of fond memories you won’t have time for sadness.” My life has been enriched since 1943 by knowing Loujine Young Shuler. I am glad to call her friend, and happy for the fellowship we have enjoyed at class reunions and through other means in our “golden years.” Congratulations, Loujine, on reaching the milestone of 80 years. Best wishes for good health and continued happiness for you and yours. (And, as a reminder, remember to send Loujine a birthday card; we want to “shower” her with cards on her 80th!)
c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Apr. 8,2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.