Rubini: Making doWritten by Julie Rubini | | email@example.com
Louella Rupp learned to make the best out of a situation early in life.
Louella was born in 1925, the oldest of five children. Her father died when she was a freshman in high school, leaving no savings, or insurance. Her mother was forced to go to work, doing a variety of jobs to feed the hungry children at home. They were just trying to survive during the difficult last days of the Great Depression. There was no money for college, so she got a job out of high school.
“I’m always just trying to make do out of something, because that’s the way I was brought up,” she said.
Her upbringing helped her in raising her three young daughters in Whitehouse, on her husband Robert’s earnings as an electrician.
Louella’s house is modest, with a bright kitchen, and pictures of her three daughters and their families cover the walls of the front family room and hall. The house overlooks the back side of Anthony Wayne High School, with a creek bed creating the border of her back yard. The birds chirp appreciatively as they enjoy her filled feeders, the squirrels bound back and forth and she shares that she spotted a minx not too long ago along the tree line.
Her home is a reflection of who she is, and what is important to her; family and the natural world outside her door.
Louella and Robert raised their girls sharing this love of nature by taking them often to SideCut and Oak Openings Metroparks. Picnics, hikes, Saturday evening barbeques and fun family time together on the trails and open areas at these two gems happened frequently with the Rupp family.
After their daughters Cheryl, Beverly and Laurie moved on to their own lives, Louella and Robert still frequented Oak Openings, taking many strolls on the various trails. Twelve years ago they took their last walk together at Mallard Lake, as Robert suffered what proved to be a fatal heart attack at the park.
Devastated at the loss of her lifelong partner, Louella took a trip to their Florida home. Prior to leaving she filled out a Metroparks brochure asking for volunteers. After returning to Northwest Ohio, she called and went in for an interview. She’d found her calling.
She has helped out at the main office at Wildwood serving as receptionist and doing whatever clerical help was needed. Louella has also helped out on special projects and lends a hand during the holidays too.
As she offers the progression of her volunteer roles at the Metroparks, at the mention of Blue Creek Nursery, Louella’s eyes light up.
“Last year we started planting flowers, and now all of the land is filled with flowers. There were three kinds of purple. It’s amazing that it’s just there!” she said.
Volunteers like Louella harvest the seeds from the wildflowers in September and October of each year. Students at the Toledo Public Schools Nature Technology Center help with the process by starting the seeds in flats and other schools house them in greenhouses. Area schools involved include Clay High School, Evergreen, West Side Montessori, Sylvania Southview High School, Penta Career Center and Lourdes College.
All of this in an effort to allow the wildflowers native to the area thrive. To witness first hand the efforts of Blue Creek Nursery volunteers, be sure to visit the open house May 9 from 2-3:30 p.m.
According to Scott Carpenter, public relations director at the Metroparks of Toledo Area, “Louella is our super volunteer. You can find her answering phones at our offices, and collecting seeds at Blue Creek Nursery. She even helped with publicity by being featured in a video we produced to promote donor and volunteer opportunities. She’s such a giving person, and always with a smile.”
Along with her time at the Metroparks, Louella also gives of herself to the Whitehouse Library, serving as secretary on the board, and helps out at Zion United Methodist Church in Whitehouse.
“My daughters say I’m never home!” she said.
Throughout her life, Louella has learned to make do with whatever life has brought her way. Fortunately for all of us, our corner of the world is a little brighter as a result of her efforts.
Tags: Great Giving