Louise Irene Blazis Sherman died December 9, 2017 from breast cancer that had metastasized to her brain. She was 87. Her daughter Nancy and son-in-law John were at her bedside in Portland, OR when she passed.

Literally a coal miner’s daughter, Louise was born November 16, 1930 in Nanticoke, PA to Anthony and Emilia Blazis, children of Lithuanian immigrants.

Louise was a graduate of the NYU nursing school at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. She worked in several departments, but her favorite was pediatrics.

Louise worked at several NYC hospitals including Bellevue, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Willard Parker, Kew Gardens and the VA Hospital.

In 1957, Louise married Ken Sherman of New York City. They had five children and moved to Bellevue, WA in 1971.

During those busy years, Louise spent lots of time chauffeuring kids to Little League, ballet, football, basketball, music lessons, play practice and sleepovers. As the children got older, Louise re-entered the workforce, taking jobs at Overlake Hospital and Group Health. She also had a life-long love of learning and took classes in everything from belly dancing to finance and enjoyed traveling abroad.

Louise and Ken ultimately divorced, but were a wonderful grandparenting team.

Over the past two decades, Louise’s body betrayed her on many levels: multiple bouts with cancer, neurological problems that took away her ability to walk and macular degeneration that left her practically blind. Yet her contagious laughter and her determination to make the best of any situation made her a beacon of inspiration.

Louise was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Robert Blazis. She is survived by her sister Christine (John) Miller of Oxford, CT; children Kenneth (Kathy) of Madison, W​I., William, Brian and Neil of Seattle, and Nancy (John) Copic of Portland, O​R; her grandchildren: Anna, Colette and Freddie; stepgrandson Pete Sherman and niece Amanda Richards of Oxford, C​T.​

Louise’s funeral Mass is Wed​nesday​, Dec​ember​ 20 at 11 a.m. in the chapel at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Beaverton.

In lieu of flowers, Louise encouraged donations to shelters and counseling services for victims of domestic violence or to organizations that help children who’ve lost their parents.