LOUISE THOMSON LASHLEY, aged 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, FL, surrounded by her family.
Born January 10, 1937 in Kathleen, Florida, to Hal Nelson Thomson and Mary Estelle Young Thomson, Louise was the youngest of eight children. At the age of eight her family moved to Zephyrhills. An outstanding student and musician at Zephyrhills High School, Louise was equally adept at leading the Zephyrhills High School Marching Band as Drum Majorette as she was serving up milk shakes at The City Drugstore, her after-school job. Following graduation from ZHS in 1955, Louise continued academic studies at the University of Florida, majoring in Education, punctuated by a year away working with Procter & Gamble in New Orleans.
Louise returned to Zephyrhills to marry and raise her family, where she remained an active member of the community for the rest of her life. She was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church of Zephyrhills, serving for a time as its Choir Director, a member of the Zephyrhills Garden Club, Junior Women’s Club, Bridge Club, Center Stage Players, and local Chapter BG of the P.E.O. International Sisterhood, where she went on to serve as the organization’s Florida State Chapter president and as an international trustee for the P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund. Through her interior design business, “The Hang Up House”, she helped update and beautify many local homes and businesses over the years.
The matriarch of her family, Louise was devoted to her children, extended family, and friends. Holidays, birthdays, wedding showers and even funeral receptions were often organized, if not hosted, by Louise. The delicious food, glorious floral arrangements, and even singing, that she shared with others at these life events will long be remembered. Her loving care extended to animals, where she took in many a stray over the years. Always putting others above self, hers was a life of service.
Louise had a deep and abiding faith in God, which brought her great comfort. A current member of the First United Methodist Church in Zephyrhills, she served as a Stephen’s Minister, and was active in bible study.
Following a major stroke, Louise received exceptional care during the last months of her life at Sunnyside Village Health and Rehab Center in Sarasota, for which her family is grateful. The many visits and hundreds of greeting cards she received during that time from family, friends and P.E.O. sisters alike brought Louise great joy, and served as a true testament of their love and affection. Louise’s classic beauty and radiant smile endured to the end.
Louise is preceded in death by her parents, along with two brothers, Hal Young Thomson and William Briggs Thomson, and three sisters, Mary Elizabeth Sorensen, Cornelia Jane Busbee and Patricia Lee McIntosh. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Howard Earl Lashley; three children – Louise Ann “Luan” Gore, Dr. Christopher Lee Gore (Fazila), and Pamela Gore Meade (Robert) from her first marriage to Freddie Lee Gore; grandchildren, James Colin John Ure, Antonio Lee Lehmann Gore, Kathleen Felicia Louise Ure, Harrison Christopher Thomson Ure, Hannah Elizabeth Gore Meade, and Noah Lee Karlsen Gore; sisters Rebecca Ann Rushing and Nancy Carne Hamilton and sister-in-law Ruby Thomson; many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews, and best friend since childhood, Sylvia Hill Street.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held at First United Methodist Church, 38635 Fifth Avenue, Zephyrhills, FL 33542, on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 2:00pm, with reception to follow in Cooper Hall. Memorial gifts may be sent to the following women’s education projects of the P.E.O. International Sisterhood: Florida Cottey College Scholarship, Florida P.E.O. Scholarship (www.peoflorida.org), and P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund (www.peointernational.org). To express condolences, please visit the family’s online guestbook for Louise at http://www.internationalcremation.com/…/louise-thomson…/.