Louise Line Grout was born October 22, 1919 in Billings, Montana and grew up in nearby Columbus. When she was nine her family moved to Missoula where her father became a member of the faculty and Dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana. Initially the family lived near the university, then up the Rattlesnake, finally settling just south of downtown on land her parents called The Fellfoot, known today as the Line Ranch.
As a teenager and the oldest of four, Louise helped with her family’s summer dude ranch camp. By 16 she led a pack train through Missoula and camped up the Rattlesnake solo in preparation for campers who arrived the next day. Those summer camps made it possible for Louise to attend music school in Chicago and Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. There she met her future husband Milton Grout and they were married September 7, 1940.
Louise and Milton lived in New England until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942 when Milton enlisted in the US Navy and was commissioned as a naval officer in London. With mounting fears that the East and West coasts might be bombed, Louise left college and returned to Missoula. There she worked in cartography for the war effort and graduated from the University of Montana in Psychology.
Reunited in the summer of 1944, Louise and Milton moved to San Francisco until Milton’s discharge from the Navy in the fall of 1945. They moved to Seattle, and ultimately Bellevue, Washington where they raised four children. The family enjoyed a beach cabin on Puget Sound and many camping trips and picnics throughout the Northwest. Louise was proud to be a homemaker and also participated in Camp Fire Girls leadership, Seattle Weaver’s Guild, and the Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair.
As her children began to leave home Louise studied transpersonal psychology with Ira Progoff, eventually teaching at Bellevue Community College for several years where her courses became accredited. She built Skysong, a retreat center in Issaquah, Washington where she conducted workshops in personal growth and sponsored other presenters.
In 1992 Louise was drawn to her native roots, returning to Montana and settling in Corvallis in the Bitterroot Valley where she built a straw bale house and directed the development of her productive organic garden. Louise enjoyed starting heirloom seeds in the spring and preserved her harvest for food she prepared year round. She remained independent, living alone with supportive family and friends close by.
Louise will forever be remembered by all whose hearts she touched. She is survived by her children Judith Reynolds, Elizabeth Roberts, Robert Grout, and William Grout, her sister Harriet Flaccus, sister-in-law Ann Line, and their families. A memorial service will be held for Louise Grout on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 11 a.m. in the Daly-Leach Community Room. In lieu of flowers, donations in Louise’s honor may be made to Oxfam International or Haven House food bank in Hamilton, Montana.