born-6 December 1918, Union City, Randolph, Indiana
died-7 January 2000, Norwalk, Los Angeles, California

Louise was the daughter of Dana Browning Koffroth and Edith Louise Tiller. She was the sister to Richard, Robert, Willis, and Vera Koffroth. Served in the Women’s Army Corp during World War II. Married Ernest Ursua in 1949 and lived in California. Worked for AT&T and eventually retired, but went right on working as a tutor to Spanish speaking persons, and as volunteer for meals on wheels. She kept active by walking and being a member of a rowing team. Several years before her death she contracted cancer and had extensive surgery on her throat and face. When her quilt was finished she had time to sit and enjoy the wonderful work of her mother’s that she wrote about in her story.


It seems, as a very young girl, I became an environmentalist and a recycler long before it was mandatory. Being an environmentalist and a recycler is not new. Back in the days of the depression, nothing was wasted. I mean nothing! During that time my family was very poor, as were most of our friends and neighbors. Everyone pitched in to do whatever they could to earn any kind of financial help for the health and welfare of their family. One of my entrepreneurial endeavors was the reclamation of old newspapers and magazines. Each day my wagon and I took off for our recycling collections. I had a regular route where my clients saved their used magazines and newspapers for me. When my wagon was full, I took them to Mr. Dannenberg, a recycler, who would weigh them and settle up with me. Then I would be homeward bound with my little payment for a hard day's work. My mother saved this money for me, for my school clothes. She had a little old lady by the name of Miss Ella, who sold yardage from door-to-door, and she came to our house occasionally to sell her wares. My mother bought the materials with my hard-earned savings. The materials that we purchased were then used for making my school clothes. Nothing was ever wasted in those days, including the scraps of material left over from the sewing of my new clothes. my mother used these scraps to hand-sew a Dresden Plate Quilt for me (see photo).

The dictionary describes a quilt as a coverlet made by stitching one cloth over another with some soft substance between. There are very specific patterns used and my mother chose the Dresden Plate for me.

The quilt is completely hand sewn on unbleached muslin and has been unfinished for some 60 years. I have arranged to have it finished by a ground of women through a church organization.

I will enjoy looking at the coverlet and the pieces of material with the tiny hand stitches, that my mother worked so lovingly and diligently, to preserve the scraps of cloth left over from my dresses. Many of the pieces bring back memories, of those times that we all pulled together, to do our part when the going was so rough.

This will be a beautiful piece of the past that I will cherish forever, MY QUILT.

Louise Ursua


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