Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Louise Boulding

November 2, 1944 - April 17, 2020
Kalamazoo, MI



Saturday, August 1, 2020
3:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

A reception will follow in the Life Story Center.

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Lending Hands
2403 Helen Ave
Portage, MI 49002
Web Site

Any Veteran's Charity


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Louise Boulding loved unconditionally and served her community selflessly. With a strong will and fierce independence, Louise never shied away from hard work, especially when it came to the care of her family. She possessed a good sense of humor and enjoyed a hearty laugh. Louise welcomed each day as a gift and embraced each person as a friend. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Louise was revered by many, and her legacy will long be remembered in the hearts of those who knew her best.

1944 marked a time when all American lives were directly impacted by the war effort in Europe. While countless young people actively served in the trenches of WWII, those who remained stateside poured their energies into supporting the war effort in any way they could. As Americans welcomed the end of meat rationing and began planting Victory Gardens, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill and soon became the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term. As the nation looked toward peace, Harold and Ruth (Bailey) Wright celebrated their own hopes for the future as they welcomed their daughter Louise into their hearts and home on November 2nd.

Growing up during the 40s and 50s on the east side of Kalamazoo, Louise’s early years formed the firm foundation upon which she built the rest of her life. It was a time of struggle for her parents as they worked hard to make ends meet and provide well for their children. Sadly when Louise was just nine years old, her mother died. When her father remarried, her stepmother, Doris helped raise Louise through her teenage years. Despite the many challenges, Louise enjoyed the good company of her older siblings, Harold, Delores, Ron, and her younger brother, Milton (Butch).

As a mother of three, Louise raised her children with a firm hand. Kim, Robin, and Chad were always her priority, and she was dedicated to their well being. Of the “do as you were told,” generation, it was important to Louise that her children be taught the values of independence and hard work. She created firm structures and routines to support these values. Every Saturday, she and the kids spent cleaning house while listening to her favorite records, including the famous songs of Mac Davis, Conway Twitty, and her all-time favorite, Elvis Presley. Louise taught her children impeccable manners and the value of a dollar, insisting that they never pay full price for things.

Louise provided for her family through her work as a state and federal employee. Over the years, she worked for the U.S. Postal Service, Secretary of State, Health and Human Services. She also had several odd jobs to make some extra money. She also enjoyed her time giving back to her community. Inspired by her brother Butch’s military service during the Vietnam War, she was very patriotic. She volunteered at the Red Cross, V.A. and was happy to help with the Talon Out Honor Flight program. Later, she began volunteering at Lending Hands, a local organization that lends home medical equipment for free. She found great satisfaction in helping at Lending Hands and enjoyed the great circle of friends from there that would often go out.

In 1991, Louise met her true love, Wiley Boulding. Though Wiley went to the wrong house the first time he visited her at her home, their destiny was not to be thwarted. In1994, the happy couple married in Las Vegas, Nevada, officially beginning their 25-year adventure. Their years together were rich in love, support, and companionship. They enjoyed memorable trips to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Tahiti, and for a while, they also enjoyed bowling and golf. They also enjoyed the simple pleasure of going out to eat. Louise purchased a Lakehouse, where she created many wonderful memories with family and friends, cruising the lake in the pontoon boat. Louise also enjoyed flower gardening and taking in a discounted film or matinee movie at one of the local movie theatres, and she was known to sneak in her own snacks to save some money.

The glue that kept the family together, Louise not only nurtured deep connections with her children, grandchildren and great granddaughter, but she also made sure to connect with her nieces and nephews too. Louise unfailingly supported her family members. A constant and undauntable presence in their lives, she often provided a safe harbor amid life’s greatest storms. When she retired in 2002, Louise relished in the time it gave her to spend with her grandchildren. She was extremely close to Matthew, Emily, Molly, Taylor, and Sarah and never missed any of their important events. She was fortunate to go with each of them on a spring break vacation during their senior year and created many fond memories with them on family vacations. Louise was very proud to see all of her grandchildren graduate both high school and college, and to share in each of their successes. In Louise’s eyes, it was always easy for her family members to see they were loved and to know their worth.

Unfortunately, Louise was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December of 2018. Shortly after, she would have surgery, but sadly the cancer returned. Despite her own discomforts, Louise continued to be an enduring force of love and support for her family and friends. She persisted in living each moment to the fullest and encouraging others to do so as well. In so doing, Louise proved a powerful role model for all who were blessed to know her.

Though it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Louise’s steadfast presence, may it afford comfort to carry her legacy forward. With each moment we fiercely stand in our convictions, freely give of our time and talents, persevere in the face of a challenge, and lovingly reflect another’s greatness, we celebrate the best of Louise’s gifts. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.

Marilyn Louise Boulding of Kalamazoo died on Friday, April 17, 2020. Members of her family include her husband Wiley, 3 children: Kim (Mark) Hambright, Robin (John) Madaras, and Chad Hillard, 5 grandchildren: Matthew (Kelly) Hambright, Emily (Dakotah) Ellis, Molly Madaras, Taylor Hillard, Sarah Madaras, 1 great-grandchild: Amelia Hambright, and another great-grandchild, baby Ellis, due in October. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her 3 brothers, a sister, two nephews, and a niece. Cremation has taken place. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 3 pm on Saturday, August 1, at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A reception will follow in the Life Story Center immediately following the service. Please visit Louise’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Lending Hands or any veteran’s organization