Chicago 2

Louise H. Waller

August 20, 1925 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 96)
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Obituary

Louise Henrietta Hetzel Waller died on March 12, 2022 in Rochester NY. She was 96. 

She is survived by her two daughters, Dr. Elizabeth Waller (Paul Nunes) and Susan Hipple (Tom Hipple), four granddaughters, Emily Nunes (Billy Jones), Julia Nunes, Sarah Hipple (Nigel Laracuente), Margaret Hackenberger (Kore Hackenberger), and her three great-grandchildren, Eva Jones, Luke and Nevin Hackenberger.

Louise Waller was born to a family of German descent in Chicago IL. She was an only child, the last of five births, all of whom died or were stillborn. She attended the University of Chicago where she met her husband of 19 years, Leslie Waller, author, whose early work she edited. 

She and Les moved to New York City in the early 1950s, attending Columbia University and receiving master’s degrees in English. They spent summers on Fire Island NY, first as renters in Ocean beach, and then in Ocean Bay Park, where they built a house.

After the birth of her second child, she went to work full-time at Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Publishers. She became an editor and shepherded the words of several well-known writers, including Robert Frost, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles M. Schultz and Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden).

Eventually she left the fiction branch at Holt, going on to the textbook department. In addition to editing, her job consisted of traveling around the country and the world to recruit academics to write new textbooks in their subject matter. Among them was James McConnell’s Understanding Human Behavior, for which he became a target of the Unibomber. She also took on a number of non-textbook projects, such as the revision of McClane’s New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia. 

After many years in New York, she took an editing job in the Chicago area at Rand McNally to be near to and care for her father until his death. At age 60, she shaved a decade off her resume, and moved to Dubuque, IA to work for William C. Brown Publishing, editing primarily psychology and sociology texts. She later returned to New York City and took jobs at St. Martin’s Press, and then Columbia University Press.

After her retirement at 75, she became a docent at the Hudson River Museum, a volunteer job she enjoyed immensely. At age 80, she moved to Rochester NY, to take advantage of its top-tier medical facilities.

She was a life-long Democrat and animal-lover. She enjoyed theater, literature and art. Donations in her memory may be given to any charity which promotes these passions. The family will honor her privately.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Louise H. Waller, please visit our floral store.

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