Louise Wilson Lewis
Louise Lewis was born Louise Lord Wilson on June 9, 1947, and raised in Atwater Village. She soon revealed what would become a lifelong trait: the willingness to raise her hand when anyone asked for volunteers. Louise was only 16 when she first volunteered as a candy striper at Glendale Memorial Hospital.
After attending Pepperdine University, Louise was the office manager for fourteen years at the Walt Disney Studios technical division, known as "the Machine Shop," where she worked under legendary Academy award winning innovator Don Iwerks. When he eventually decided to leave Disney and strike out on his own, Louise went with him to help co-found Iwerks Entertainment. She would retire in 1992 to focus on volunteering.
A self-proclaimed “professional volunteer,” Louise enjoyed an extraordinary 48-year career at Glendale Memorial Hospital. She served on the hospital's Community Board, as president (several times) of the Auxiliary Guild, and was the first female Chair of the Board of Glendale Memorial Health Foundation.
“Louise is more than the consummate hospital volunteer, she is a great and courageous woman,” said Michael Pfaff, Executive Director of Glendale Memorial Health Foundation, in 2002, when Louise was honored at the 15th Annual Evening of Wine & Roses. The hospital would recognize her again, in 2008, for having given over 32,000 hours of service.
Louise married Timothy F. Lewis in 1973. Though they grew up a mile from each other in Atwater Village, their paths didn’t cross until a fortunate blind date. Tim loved that Louise saw life as an adventure. "She always had some kind of exciting thing she wanted to do," said Tim. "She was fearless."
That fighting spirit sustained her through a long battle with cancer. Diagnosed in 2001, her perception of the disease was poetic and philosophical. “Cancer is so limited, and there is so much it cannot do to a being,” said Louise. “It cannot undermine integrity, or invade the soul, or conquer the spirit, and regardless of what it may ultimately steal from one, it cannot steal eternal life.”
During that time, Louise continued to volunteer and advocate for Glendale Memorial Hospital. “Nothing is going to stop me,” she said. “During the past forty years, I have watched Glendale Memorial evolve into a world-class healthcare center and it is my dream to continue my support and help the Cancer Center join the Heart Center as one of the top 100 in the nation.”
Louise Lewis passed away in 2011 at the age of 64, but her memory and indomitable spirit lives on in the hearts of all her many friends at Glendale Memorial Hospital.
Even after her untimely death, Louise Lewis continued to show her belief in Glendale Memorial's future by naming the hospital as a beneficiary of her estate. In recognition of her commitment, dedication and leadership, the Glendale Memorial Health Foundation Board of Directors created the Louise Lewis Legacy Society so that her belief and faith might be an inspiration to others.