WHS ‘Longtime Lunch Lady Louie’ Edwards dies

Lois “Louie” Elaine Edwards, age 74 of Wayland, died Monday, June 1.

Louie retired from Wayland Union High School as “Lunch Lady Louie” after 30 years of service. She was Mrs. Claus in the Christmas Parade for 25 years. Louie was a longtime member of the United Church of Wayland.

“Lunch Lady Louie” will be remembered for her cooking, sense of humor and her smile.

She and sisters Bonnie Brenner and Mary Ellen Navis were famous for their skills in catering events such as weddings, reunions, funerals, graduation open houses and church-related celebrations. Louie touched the lives of everyone she met and will be greatly missed by her family and the Wayland community.

Comments made about her on Facebook:

• Lynn Mandaville: “Dave and I loved Louie, like so many hundreds of other people, and the world was sure better for her being in it. If her kindness, playfulness, and joy of living were contagious we’d all be the better infected by it.”

• Wendy Bogue: “Sorry for your loss. She and her sisters were sweet people to grow up with at Wayland school.”

• Kristin Doezema Wells — “Jodi, your mom was amazing and had such an impact on so many lives, mine included. Loved her dearly and secretly wished she was my mom.”

• Dawn Edwards — “We lost one of the most loving, caring, strong willed, beautiful people in our lives… thanks for teaching me how to be the best person I can be. You touched the lives of so many and will never be forgotten in our hearts.”

• Jen Genther Schuette — “Louie was a sweet lady, that I will never forget. So many fun memories of her, from high school. My kids have heard many funny “lunch lady” stories She was one of a kind!”

• Shirley Heth — “Oh Jodi, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom was one of a kind, caring, loving and so full of joy. I loved her laugh!”

• Lillian DeKoning — “A smile that would light up any room, the true version of kindness, a laugh you could hear in the distance, the unspoken high school counselor who touched so many lives, always a warm hug when you’d walk in the back door, her fresh cinnamon rolls scent etched into my memory on a Saturday morning, one of my biggest cheerleaders in life from the time I could walk. She loved big and loved us all!”

• Jessica Schwartz — I will miss her sense of humor! She would always make me laugh.”

• Suzy Bouwman — “You were truly my second mother. You always knew what to say when things were crappy. You always saw the best in everybody, no matter the circumstances. You were strong and the thread that held it all together. I love you and will miss you like crazy.”

• Stephanie Zartman — “Long time lunch lady Louie passed away. If you ever had the pleasure of knowing her, you know you were loved by her.”

• Jill Wilde Scheel — She was just the very best in so many ways. Our family loved her and all the Button family.

• David Kouchnerkavich — “I hope that her famous chicken soup gets served at the memorial service – can’t think of a more fitting tribute to her memory than through good food.”

• David T. Young — “Louie actually did a pretty decent job of cutting my hair more than 40 years ago.”

She is survived by her children, James (Dawn) Edwards and Jodi Wilcox; grandchildren Jimmy Jack (Glenna) Edwards, Andrew (Yvonne) Pardee, Dan (Jamie) Stanton, Jason (Marcia) Stanton; six great-grandchildren; partner, Jim Hilliker; sisters Mary (Gordie) Navis and Bonnie Brenner; brother, Ed (Charlene) Tolhurst; several nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Her parents, Willis and Grace Button; her husband, Loren “Butch” Edwards; and her brothers, Bob Tolhurst and Fred Tolhurst, preceded her in death.

The funeral will held at 11 a.m. at the United Church of Wayland Wednesday, June 9, at the Kubiak-Cook Funeral Home, 312 N. Main St. A luncheon will follow at the United Church of Wayland, 411 E. Superior St.

Leave a Comment