We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.
Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)
City of residence (upon passing)
State/province of residence (upon passing)
Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)
Date of death (day if known, month, year)
ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)
Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.
Louise Carolyn Duvall
July 3, 1946 – July 23, 2023
Louise Carolyn Duvall, the only child of Edwin and Wilma (Hogueisson) Duvall, was born on July 3rd, 1946, at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. She grew up on the family farm in Audubon County, Viola Township. She departed this life on July 23, 2023, while residing at Walnut Ridge in Clive, Iowa.
There was no kindergarten at the time, so Louise began her school career in first grade. She attended grade school at the Viola Center School, and high school at the Audubon Public School, graduating in 1964.
Louise was a 1968 graduate of the University of Iowa, earning degrees in history and English. She laughed in later years, wondering what job she thought that would get her! After graduating, she began course work at Drake University to be certified to teach. She thoroughly enjoyed being a student until her dad called and said it was time to come home and get a job! There was a teaching position in Exira at mid-year, and without even an interview, she lived at home and began commuting to Exira to teach history, economics, government, etc. Louise was also the pep club sponsor — not something she enjoyed. She even offered to return the stipend given for it but to no luck. Her teaching career lasted 3 ½ years.
Louise met Bill Goettsch in a history class at Iowa, and they were married on August 8, 1970. Tragically, two weeks after her wedding, her parents were killed in a car accident — a loss felt to this day. Louise and Bill would move to Des Moines when he began working for the Department for the Blind. She found work as a title clerk in a local car dealership. Louise’s own career with the Department for the Blind began by driving blind clients to appointments. She would then become a rehab teacher, having to learn and then teach Braille, how to use a white cane and other tasks to be adapted for her clients. She loved her work in this area. Her career path then moved into writing grants and to a new department under her leadership to serve the blind community. Louise chose to come out of retirement to create “Friends of the Library for the Blind” as a way to help purchase Braille and audio books for the library. She was proud of the work she did and would maintain friendships with many of those she served.
She and Bill bought a brick ranch home in Urbandale in 1973. They divorced in 1975. Louise lived in her home for 49 years and had a host of pets, including a St. Bernard named Tammy, and cats Coco, Teddy and Lily, who were wonderful companions and greatly loved.
Louise traveled extensively with her job. She also loved playing bridge and entertaining friends. She was articulate, had a big laugh and a sharp mind. She especially loved sharing stories on family history. She was an avid reader all of her life, and in retirement was known to read a book a day. She also loved cars and one day bought her first Mercedes. She also enjoyed driving — fast — especially when chauffeuring blind friends back and forth to appointments in Iowa City. She had at least one encounter with a state trooper!
As Louise’s health declined, she was no longer able to live in her home, and moved to Walnut Ridge in Urbandale, Iowa. She enjoyed family visits and the helpful staff at the facility and those who cared for her from Hospice of the Midwest.
Her cremains will be scattered on the family farm in Audubon County per her wishes. She is survived by her multitudes of cousins who were much loved.
Louise’s family suggests any gifts in her memory be given directly to the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, PO Box 93046, Des Moines, IA 50393-3046.