Longtime Dobbs Ferry resident Emma Lou Sailors Louis passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at age 97.
Born Aug. 21, 1923 to Lee and Ethel Sailors in Lincolnville, Ind., she spent her childhood years on the family farm, a place that was always in her heart.
She attended Manchester College (now University), another place she loved and that she credited for opening her eyes to a life beyond Indiana. After receiving her M.D. from Indiana University Medical School, further training took her to Chicago, Boston, and then New Orleans.
For many reasons, New Orleans also was a lifelong love. In New Orleans she became a Unitarian Universalist, and in the New Orleans UU Church she met Thomas Louis, whom she married on March 16, 1957. After 10 happy years, and the birth of their four daughters, Tom and Emma Lou moved to Dobbs Ferry in 1967. In New York, she and Tom, and kids, attended the White Plains UU Church, then much later, when the drive became too much, she found another UU home at First Unitarian Society of Westchester, in Hastings.
In New Orleans, as Dr. Sailors, she worked at “Big” Charity Hospital, as a pediatric cardiologist. She stopped working when her first child was born, because, as she later told Susan, “You were so cute, I just couldn't leave you,” then went back to work when all her children reached school age. She worked almost 30 years as a physician in the Yonkers public schools, becoming chief school physician.
She was involved with the League of Women Voters, first in New Orleans, then with the LWV Rivertowns, among other civic-oriented activities, including SHORE and the Youth Services Council.
She painted, and later added other forms of creative expression, including a rediscovered love of writing. She also loved nature, bird-watching, and enjoying this beautiful world.
Emma Lou was predeceased by her husband, Tom, in 1995, and her second born, Julie, in 2016. She is survived by Susan Louis Eipper (Eric) of Seaford, Del., Tracy Louis of New City in Rockland County, and Hilarie Louis of Dobbs Ferry, as well as eight much-loved grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.