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Louise Marie Prinsell, 99, Houghton

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Louise Marie Prinsell of Houghton passed away peacefully in her home on March 15, 2024, at 99 years old. She was born on January 12, 1925, in Jersey City, NJ, and raised during the “Great Depression.” Though from an uneducated family, she studied and worked hard to graduate from college and nursing school — earning both Bachelor of Science and RN degrees by the young age of 20.

She married her childhood friend, Gustave Prinsell, on July 27, 1946, in Jersey City. Together with physician husband Gustave, she devoted the early part of her career as a nurse in medical missions at the Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Sierra Leone, West Africa (1957-1964). Her “second career” included volunteer: leadership of the Wesleyan Medical Fellowship for sixteen years as newsletter editor and primary fund-raiser to sponsor Christian missionaries; service to the Houghton Wesleyan Church and community; and spiritual mentoring of Houghton University students, some of whom thought of her as their “2nd mom.” Gustave and Louise were voted by the students as “Grand Marshals” of the 2009 Houghton University Homecoming festivities.

Louise was also a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who instilled strong Christian and family values. She was very giving and caring, always positive and uplifting, with a friendly outgoing personality, witty sense of humor, and radiant cheerful smile — admired and loved by those who knew her. “The Papa Bear,” an autobiography by her late husband Gustave published in 2017, tells more of their strong marriage, personal experiences, friendships, devout Christian faith, and deep love of family.

Louise is survived by: four sons, Jonathan (Dawn) in Orlando, FL, James (Britta) in Plano, TX, Jeffrey (Kim) in Marietta, GA, and Joel (Jill) in Orlando, FL; seven grandchildren, Jeffrey Jr (Jenny) and Eric (Whitney) in Marietta, Michael (Lisa) in Galesburg, IL, Jonathan Jr (Alisha) in Cambridge, ON, and Joy (Chandler) Brothers, Grace, and David, all in Orlando; and seven great-grandchildren, Logan, Landon, Luke, Mary Katherine and Liam, all in Marietta, Caleb in Cambridge, and Juliette in Galesburg. She is predeceased by her only sibling, Charles Bininger Jr, and her beloved husband of 75 years, Gustave, who died on July 13, 2022, at 100 years old.

A visitation will be held at the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, North Genesee Street, Fillmore on Friday, April 5, 2024, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. A funeral service will be held at the Houghton Wesleyan Church on Saturday, April 6, 2024, will begin at 1:00 pm, followed by the burial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Houghton.

In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, the family respectfully requests and deeply appreciates that memorials, if desired, be made to the “Dr. Gustave and Louise Prinsell Scholarship” at Houghton University, One Willard Avenue, Houghton, NY 14744; (585) 567-9340.

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