Louise Echols

Louise Kidd Key Echols, the beloved "matriarch" of the Echols family, departed Dec. 9, 2012, to be with the Lord. Visitation is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Stewart Family Funeral Home. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Pollard United Methodist Church where Louise was a member. The burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery under direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.

Louise was a treasure to her family as well as being a blessing and a joy to all who knew her. A true native of Tyler in every sense, Louise was born Nov. 3, 1924, in a home on East Front Street and grew up in the bustling East Tyler neighborhood. Louise graduated from Tyler High School in 1941 and continued her education at Tyler Commercial College where she acquired secretarial skills.

Louise greatly enjoyed people, and employment as a professional secretary offered her many opportunities. She worked at Texas Power and Light, Citizens' Bank, Caton Insurance Co., Arcadia and Rudman oil companies and Henry and Peters. Many former students remember her as the secretary to Apache Belle Director Eva Saunders and Dr. Edwin Fowler, or as a secretary in the Student Financial Aid Office at The University of Texas at Tyler.

Louise met her husband, Dan Echols, when they were in high school. They became engaged while Dan was a Marine in the South Pacific during World War II. Their war time romance was chronicled by many letters and followed by their marriage, which spanned 58 remarkable years.

Louise is survived by her two sons, Jim and his wife Sherrill of Tyler, and Russell and his wife Nancy of Irving; and grandchildren, Kimberly Graft of Dallas, Jimmy Echols of Richmond, Aaron Echols of Great Falls, Mont., Alisha Longa of Ogden, Utah, and Allon Echols of Ogden, Utah. She is also survived by five great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; as well as many special friends. Louise was preceded in death by her parents, Josie Kidd and W.H. Key; husband; and sisters, Josephine McFarland and Evelyn Key; and infant brother, W.H. Key Jr.

Pallbearers will be Jimmy Echols, Aaron Echols, Allon Echols, Aaron Graft, Keith Freeman, Randy Austin, Rodney Smith and John Evans.

Memorials in honor of Louise Echols may be given to Pollard United Methodist Church, 3030 Copeland Road, Tyler, 75701; or St. Paul's Children's Clinic, 1350 E. Richards St., Tyler, 75702.

Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Dec. 11, 2012