Bloomington yesterday

After 99 1/2 years, Louise Dean Mosher, nee Louise Aretta Dean, has tales to tell—and many took place in Bloomington. Through family friendships and marriages, she has ties to numerous Bloomington founders (Palmer, Nord, Baillif and more), a legacy she’s passing to her five children, 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. 

As a matriarch, military wife and nurse’s aide, Mosher has led a full life. Today, she’s still in good spirits thinking about how to celebrate her 100th birthday this March. 

Over the years, she’s learned to appreciate the past while keeping a positive outlook for the future. What’s her secret to such a long and healthy life? 

“Go with the flow, laugh, give and take, and have faith,” Mosher said.

In an heirloom book brimming with handwritten stories, she remembers her favorite farm animals, surprise home visits from American Indians and how she hated bugs. More straightforward times meant a life melded by extended family and devoted worship. “As I started retracing memories, there seemed no end of good ones,” Mosher wrote.

With great sadness, we report the passing of Louise Dean Mosher on September 8, a few weeks after the interview for this story. We offer sincere condolences to her family.