Sharon Rose (Hollingsworth) Louks fulfilled her service to her Lord Jesus Christ on Monday, July 3rd, 2023. Like the good Registered Nurse she was, she left for her Heavenly home at the end of the Nurse’s shift at St. Vincent’s Hospital Indianapolis at 7pm.
Sharon was born to share her unconditional love and life of service on May 8, 1947 to (James) Emmett and Velma (Tanselle) Hollingsworth. She grew up as the youngest child, and her older brothers and sisters were as much a part of her upbringing as her parents. Her oldest brothers, Emil and Jim, were grown by the time she was old enough to remember, while her brother Donnie and sister SueAnn were close enough to share childhood in a rural farmhouse southwest of Lebanon.
Emil passed away tragically at a young age, where his and his widow Peggy’s three boys became her earliest opportunity to practice parenthood as care for Terry, Tim, and Todd Hollingsworth lasted the rest of her life, being a constant source of love, advice, and comfort in their lives and marriages. Her brother Jim, who preceeded her in death a few years prior, was also an adult while she was still a child, and his children Vince, Victor, and Vance would have at times close relationships with Aunt Sharon, whether one going on vacation with her and her young family, or simply being a home away from home. Her sister SueAnn also had three boys, Robbie, Andy, and Benjamin, closer to the age of her own children, and the two sisters spent a lifetime getting themselves or their families together for long talks, whether on the phone, during house visits where the young kids would play and grow up together, or late in life over a Diet Coke at McDonalds on Tuesday nights. Conversations would occasionally mention their late sister, Patty Lou, whom lived only a month. Though they never knew her, her grave receives flowers dutifully every Memorial Day Sunday. Sharon was blessed to share a close bond with her youngest brother Donnie as they, due to their availability, shared in caring for their aging parents in their later Lebanon home, during which time she also gained a new sister-in-law with his wife Suzanne, becoming closer after Donnie passed away in 2009. Suzanne would join SueAnn and Sharon on visits to Florida for Spring vacation, often visiting Jim and his wife RuthAnn, sharing adventures and visiting theme parks even after Jim and later RuthAnn’s death in recent years. Sharon never lived to see great-grandchildren, but if her nephews were like sons, then their families were like her daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Sharon made sure every single, innocent child got a little something for Christmas if they arrived; she learned every name of every grandchild from every nephew, and welcomed them all into her home with joy.
Sharon graduated from Lebanon High School in 1965 and entered nursing school at Marion County School of Nursing, earning her RN license, where her care of others extended into a lifelong career of professional caregiving. Her nursing career spanned nearly 40 years, the majority spent working in general practice for Dr. Charles Bush’s office in Frankfort and geriatrics at various nursing homes in Sheridan and Lebanon. The compassion and service she gave to her nursing home patients saw many of them through the end of their lives, and depsite the challenges in her work and the suffering she saw, she never wavered in her service, and remained strong and resilient in giving them what they needed day after day and night after night.
After nursing school, she was introduced to Maurice Louks, a young farmer from Sheridan. Their relationship quickly grew into a lifelong and caring marriage that began with their October 17, 1970 wedding and ending nearly 53 years later at her death. Maurice and Sharon started their married life with a small 300-acre farm between Elizaville and Kirklin. There, she helped her husband work the farm in every way. She was a second set of hands in any situation as needed, no matter how physical, from driving the tractor to hauling grain to splitting wood to taking meals out to the fields, she and Maurice worked as a true team, and there was little she was afraid to do.
The result of that marriage was three beloved children. Chris was born just over a year later and brought Sharon her first daughter-in-law, Wendi, and her first grandchildren, Kyle, Brett, and Jacob. Those boys were the delight of her life when Sharon’s youngest child, Sarah, along with her husband Jon Mock, gave her two beloved granddaughters, Ruby and Caroline, that lifted her spirit daily. Sharon’s younger son, Daniel, brought Sharon a second cherished daughter-in-law in Vikkie and renewed a lost childhood love of the Indianapolis 500 and Indycar racing through their careers in the sport.
She also helped care for animals on the farm, from hogs to cattle to horses, but it was the little ones was where her natural talents truly shined. She saved the lives of many sick and weak newborn pigs, goats, innumerable kittens, and even a racoon through her devotion to nursing. She would spend all night holding them close to her heart, keeping them warm, bottle feeding all hours – treating them with better care than their own mothers and performing small miracles in the process. Farming was a very hard life, and to their shared relief retired from it to settle in 1993 to a home on Elizaville Road they shared for 30 years. Maurice was always a devoted and patient husband, caring for her needs while she cared for others; the often silent partner that helped make her service possible.
She joined Maurice’s childhood church, Elizaville Baptist, when they married, and she served the Lord there with love and care to the end. She remained the Secretary and Clerk for the tiny congregation over 40 years, taught generations of children in the small Sunday School classes, and was the creative force for all of the Church’s activities, including the Ice Cream Socials. She was one of many congregants that were extras when a pivotal scene in the movie Hoosiers was filmed at Elizavlle, and she was interviewed for the book on the making of the film. She helped organize Vacation Bible School in coordination with Elizaville’s Christian Church over the years, attendances reaching around 200 children at one point, and teaching classes of all ages. She was constantly working on lessons, crafts, and creative ways to teach young children the Bible, illustrating complex theology such that they were easy to understand, but sound in Scripture. She pored over every word of Sunday sermons, taking notes in her Bible and on note cards, always yearning to understand fully the glory of God and apply it to her heart. She was faithful to the end, thanking her Lord Jesus, and asking that He take her to her true home to Heaven.
Grandma Louks (or Grandma Reese) attended as many events of the grandchildren’s lives as she could, and their innocence inspired an increased creativity to the already wonderfully-decorated cakes she created over the years for her own children and other events. Her creations grew in beauty, creativity, complexity, and even reputation as she made paid-commission wedding cakes as professional as any commercial bakery; she quickly stopped that practice, though, because labors of love had no price, and if they had no love, they had no value to her. From cars to cartoon characters to elegant fruit-covered lace, they were always made with the moistest cake, the sweetest homemade icing, and a personal, sometimes surprising touch that made every one feel special.a
Sharon valued her family over everything. Her joy was in getting everyone together for holidays, whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, or even hosting the Tanselle Family Reunion for a number of years on the farm, receiving over a hundred family members at its peak, both distant and close. She would keep in contact with even the most distant ones to the end, and loved sharing stories and histories that went back over 200 years. She would always prepare meals large enough to feed several families as they fellowshipped, and food was always in overabundance. She would fill Easter baskets and Christmas Stockings for her children every year, even after they left home to start their own families – what started as three treat-and-gift-filled baskets and stockings became twelve, as even her oldest grandson Kyle’s fiancee, Courtney, received an Easter Basket to ensure she knew she was already part of the family. Thanksgiving even extended beyond family; along with Sharon’s best friend, former high-school classmate Linda Reagan that she re-met later when their sons became friends in school, would arrive at Purdue University the Thursday before Thanksgiving while her children were attending school there, and prepare an open-house meal for all of the friends, family, and classmates that lived together in a house Linda and her son owned. At it’s peak, over 75 young students would gather and feast on Sharon, Linda, and other mothers’ cooking, giving thanks together before those young adults separated to their own families.
As Sharon aged, the hard work and devotion to others put a toll on her body until it finally signaled God’s temple had served His will and the Lord was ready for her to trade it for a new body with Him in Heaven.
Her only wish, and the greatest gift she could ever receive, was that her friends and family be together, with or without her. Her heart would be filled with stories of her family getting together on their own, knowing they carried at least a portion of the love for one other that she had for them. She lived a life of service, hard work, devotion, and unconditional love, especially for children. No matter your relationship with Sharon Louks – Aunt Sharon, Grandma, or what name you called her, she treated you as only a Mom would.
Family and friends will gather Sunday, July 9 from 4-8 p.m. in the Strawmyer and Drury Mortuary, 2400 N Lebanon Street, Lebanon. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, July 10
th at the mortuary, Sharon will be laid to rest in the Browns Wonder Cemetery, Lebanon. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the Elizaville Baptist Church 5946 N Howard St Lebanon, IN 46052.