Nov. 6, 1910 – March 19, 2013
Louise Walker Marchant, daughter of early Lovell pioneers, died quietly at the New Horizons Care Center in Lovell on March 19, 2013.
Mrs. Marchant, familiarly known as “Grandma Lou” to her many descendants, was 102 years of age when she died and was thought to be the oldest living native of Lovell prior to her death.
Given the name Sarah Louisa Walker when she was born Nov. 6, 1910, she was the seventh of 10 children and the second daughter of John William and Betsy Selena Boyce Walker. The couple and most of their children moved to the Lovell area in the late 1890s from their ranch home in Cottonwood, Idaho.
They were among many asked by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help colonize the Big Horn Basin. Mormon colonies in other western states were also being established at the time.
Despite her given name, which honored past pioneer mothers of generations long gone, she was called “Louise” or “Louie” by her family and “Grandma Lou” by her many grand and great-grandchildren.
She was married to Austin Caufield Marchant in 1933. Two of her children, Roger and John (Jack), were born in Cowley and the two youngest, Ward and David, were born in Lovell.
One of her granddaughters, an elementary pupil at the time, wrote her a letter in a childish scrawl and sent it addressed only to “Grandma Lou, Lovell, Wyo.” The letter was delivered to Mrs. Marchant.
In addition to her four sons, Mrs. Marchant’s heritage contains 19 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, nine siblings and five grandchildren.
Following her husband’s death in 1974, she moved to her home on Kansas Avenue where she lived until she was moved to New Horizons at the age of 96 because of increasing frailty and the debilitating effects of macular degeneration.
She was known for her quick wit, her knowledge of events and her pleasant disposition, even to the last few days of her life.
“She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known,” recalled a staff member at New Horizons.