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Louise Cain Storms

January 8, 1931 ~ December 30, 2018 (age 87)
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Louise Cain Storms, September 8, 1931 – December 30, 2018

Louise Cain Storms was born Sept. 8, 1931, in the Tobermory community of Bladen County, NC. She lived a healthy, laughing, caring, godly, hard-working life before she died of Alzheimer’s disease Dec. 30, 2018, at her home in Lumberton, NC.   Her memorial service will be held at 3 PM, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, followed by a visitation and celebration.  Both will be at Godwin Heights Baptist Church, 704 Godwin Avenue, Lumberton, NC 28358.  Revels Funeral Home in Lumberton is handling her final arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice organization of your choice. 

Louise is survived by her: 

Husband of 67 years, James Storms – “Pete” – of Lumberton

Daughter Mary Storms, of Lumberton

Grandson Blake Allen and his wife Thanh Ngo, of HoustonTX

Great grandson expected in April 2019

Sister Annie Laurie Larson, of Sedona AZ

Sister-in-law Helen Cain, of Tobermory NC

Brother-in-law Joseph Diaz, of Ocean Springs MS

Too many loving in-laws, nieces and nephews, and friends to list, spread around the United States

Caregivers Sally, Sharon, Audrey, April, Telicia, Davona, Amelia, Crystal, Mary Ann, Alicia, and Melissa, who absorbed Louise’s smiles and hugs and returned them

Louise was the youngest of Mary Ann and Joseph Cain’s 10 children, and one of the 5 redheads. In order of birth, her siblings were William Cain, Frances Huggins, Lucy Riddle, Robert Cain, Dorothy Holmes, Annie Laurie Larson, Evelyn Diaz, Joseph “Tucker” Cain, and Jean Singletary.

Betty Louise Cain grew up on the Cains’ Bladen County farm during the Great Depression and had the unstoppable work ethic for which her generation was known.  She was salutatorian of her 16-member, 1949 senior class at Tarheel High School, which voted her Most Studious and Most Athletic.  She was in the Beta Club and the Glee Club.  Five-foot-2 at her tallest, Louise was on the basketball and softball teams.  She served as class secretary and treasurer, and as editor-in-chief of the Sandspur high school annual. 

In the late 1940s, Louise Cain met Pete Storms on a blind date, set up by her friend Marie Carroll and Pete’s cousin Raymond Storms.  “Let’s go get Louise,” Marie told Pete, “She’s lots of fun.”  Apparently, Pete agreed.  Louise eventually accepted Pete’s marriage proposal but insisted on getting her secretarial training before becoming his wife.  So she moved to Newport News VA after high school, living with sister Frances, before returning to NC to marry Pete in 1951 and birth baby Mary Louise in 1954.  She and Pete loved each other and Mary and Blake beyond words. 

In 1957, Louise and Pete headed back to VA, he to work at the Newport News Shipyard and Louise to join the exciting, skyward-focused NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton.  While NASA engineers built rockets to move beyond Earth’s atmosphere, Louise and her travel office colleagues arranged for those engineers to travel across the US. Before her 1985 retirement from NASA, she met many of the astronauts, saw the US land people on the moon and Voyager spacecrafts on Mars, and became head of the travel office.  She was part of the “Hidden Figures” space back-story.

When Louise and Pete retired, they returned to Bladen County before moving to Lumberton in 1995.  They bought a motor home and traveled for 2 or 3 months each year until the early 2000s.  Pete loved to fish, and Louise loved to cook and eat fish, so they often spent winters fishing, eating, and making friends in central FL. 

Louise enjoyed her retirement but never really stopped working.  In the late 1980s, she was integrally involved in preventing a hazardous waste plant from being built in Bladen County.  When she and Pete moved to Lumberton, Louise volunteered at the hospital’s outpatient surgery desk once or twice a week for a decade – greeting all who walked in the door with a smile, an offer of something to drink, and help with the registration paperwork.  When Blake was young, she and Pete took their motor home to Dallas and parked it for 9 months in order to help take care of their grandson (and crawl around playgrounds with him). 

Those are the brief facts of Louise Cain Storms’ life.  It would take a book to talk about the depth of her character and the joy she brought to everyone whose life she touched.  Wherever she lived or traveled, Louise brought laughter and kindness and good deeds. Even her classmates in the Tarheel Sandspur remembered her “as always wanting us to laugh.”  Her siblings often told stories of her wit, her smarts, her unflagging energy and helpfulness from their earliest memories of fiery-headed baby sister Louise.  

Louise Cain Storms lived her Christian faith and led by example at home, at work, at church, and in permanent or temporary neighborhoods.  As nice as she was, she was also strong and decisive.  A leader, a person of action, someone to be reckoned with for those without her backbone and decency.  She took a back seat to no one, yet she never put herself above anyone.  She truly taught us how to live a joy-filled, meaningful life. 

Louise wrapped her kindness and humanity around all with whom she came in contact.  Not just Pete and Mary and Blake and family and friends.  She opened her arms to and shared her genuine self with everyone.  Her prayer would be that those left without her would offer that same love and generosity to those they meet and that they would know Jesus Christ. 

Peace and clarity be with you, sweet Louise. 

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