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Louise E. Magruder, of Westminster, MD, passed away at the age of 83 on December 2, 2023 in Wellspring Village at Brightview Westminster Ridge. Born in Kansas City, MO, on June 4, 1940, Louise and her beloved sister Mary Ellen Magruder, their father Lewis Hughes Magruder, and mother Florence Lee Crisler Magruder, moved to New Madrid, MO, a couple of years later. At a young age, Louise developed a voracious appetite for reading, found her love for dogs and birds, and discovered her singing voice. She and Mary Ellen loved to sing together and ultimately showcased their talents to the congregation of the First United Methodist Church. Louise loved playing on the family farm, spending time with her many cousins from the Crisler, Hunter and Spitler families, and cooling off in the Mississippi River during the hot New Madrid summers.
Louise cherished New Madrid’s small town atmosphere, but after high school and a few years at Central Methodist College in Fayette, MO, she realized it was time to venture further afield. Driven by her desire to be closer geographically to her sister, she set out for the nation's capital of Washington, DC with her trusty canine companion, MacTavish. There she continued her education at George Washington University, cultivated her love of science, met her best friend Helene, and was introduced to her future husband. She married in 1967, and in June of 1969, the couple welcomed a son, Eric Samuel Magruder.
Louise moved to Fairfax, VA, where she raised her son and completed her education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology from George Mason University. She contributed important scientific research at Meloy Laboratories, became a hematology and flow cytometry expert at the National Institute of Health, and in 1990 secured her dream position in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration. Her scientific acumen and compassion for others made her the ideal candidate for Subject Matter Expert and Scientific Reviewer, responsible for the safety and effectiveness of devices, processes, and standards in cervical cytology. Her contributions and research left an indelible mark in women's healthcare, and saved many lives.
Louise was passionate about gardening and looked forward to every season, planting and nurturing growth in the spring, and protecting it in the fall. After raising her son, Louise bought a house in Germantown, MD to significantly shorten her commute to work. Her love of flowers led her to the local garden club, through which she enjoyed yearly trips to Europe, where she immersed herself in the idyllic gardens of England, Italy, France, and Scotland.
Louise loved listening to all types of music, but her favorites were country, classical, opera, and anything Christmas related. Of course, she sang along to all of them.
Throughout her life, Louise was surrounded by her rescue dogs. Mac, Hunter, Abigail, Barclay, and most recently Miller, were more than faithful companions – they were precious members of the family whom she loved dearly.
Louise E. Magruder, a loving mother, aunt, dedicated research scientist, loyal friend, and gracious soul, will live forever in our hearts, a beacon of love and light that will guide us through the years to come.
Louise is preceded in death by her parents, Lewis Hughes and Florence Crisler Magruder, and her sister Mary Ellen Magruder Jenkins. She is survived by her loving son Eric Samuel Magruder (Courtney) of Manchester, MD, Courtney’s daughter Oliva Zinn of Elkridge, MD, her two nephews, Lance Jenkins (Loretta) of Houston, TX, Mark Lewis Jenkins of San Antonio, TX, and her niece, Lee Anne Jenkins Van Tilburg (J.P.) of Weslaco, TX. Also surviving are numerous cousins, a great nephew and two great nieces.
A memorial service to celebrate Louise’s life will be held at Richards Funeral Home, 436 Main Street, New Madrid, MO on Friday, December 15. A viewing will be held at 10 AM, followed by the service at 11 AM. Burial service will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
If you wish, instead of sending flowers, you may make a contribution in Louise’s name to a local dog rescue organization of your choice, or the Alzheimer’s Association (https://act.alz.org/).