Obituary of Louise Habicht
Louise P. Habicht
March 3, 1941 - July 2, 2018
The first Tuesday of every month were Louise’s “late days” at the Rap Room (Parent 2 Parent) on Tuckerton Road in Marlton, NJ. Her family knew to not expect her home for dinner and her “clients” knew to expect a rich menu filled with love, compassion, and a kinship with grief.
Louise was working her four-day-a-week shifts at Parent 2 Parent until late March when unmanageable back and hip pain overwhelmed her. Being such an independent woman, she drove herself to doctor appointments, MRI scans, physical therapists, pharmacies, and Rita’s Water Ice to obtain relief. When she finally threw the reins of her care over to her daughters, her PA in Woodbury caught part of a sentence in her MRI report mentioning spinal lesions. It was finally discovered in May that she had bone cancer that originated in her pancreas. The warrior in her, decided that she was going to undergo treatment so she could be home with her family and “read to her grandchildren” again.
When Louise wasn’t home in West Deptford, NJ eating a delicious meal or dessert made by her youngest daughter and home-chef Megan, or checking out new TV shows recommended by the eldest Carolyn, she was at the Parent 2 Parent providing ongoing support to families who were torn apart by a member of their own in the throes of addiction. The Parent 2 Parent was where she found her tribe 20 years ago when she realized there were other parents and families going through the same life-consuming anxiety and heartache that was her life as she juggled legal, mental health, rehab and recovery issues for her son John. Two women lost their sons to overdoses in the late 1990s and Louise was doing everything possible to prevent the same from happening to her son John. She had the right people by her side to help with the fight but unfortunately John died of an overdose in April of 2000.
This little group of women has unfortunately grown but so many people — addicts and families of addicts — have been touched by her love, compassion, and understanding. She never would have known in April of 2000 that heroin addiction and overdoses would become such an epidemic and that her role in supporting those affected by it would be so significant.
While Louise had many careers in her life as secretary at a Bamberger’s department store and then at a law firm, various waitressing and hostess jobs, and a stint in real estate, Louise found her calling at Parent 2 Parent. It was always bittersweet that the phone calls to her office were growing in number and new faces were arriving at her grief group regularly. Louise loved touching the lives of those she spoke to and met with and her own roles as a compassionate caretaker and grieving mother were evolving as well.
She was born in Philadelphia to Edna and Paul Cowan and moved to Atco, NJ when she was 17 where she graduated from Haddon Heights, HS. After getting married and starting a family, she moved to San Juan Puerto Rico in 1972 where the family lived for four years. Many of the stories told by extended family members involve some funny anecdote about the time they visited PR. Louise had made some life-long friends there where she water-skied, sewed clothes for her children, spent her days at the pool and beach and took in the culture of the place as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In recent years, Louise was an attentive grandmother, always providing love, attention, crafts, toys, clothes, and shoes for her five grandchildren. She read them books and told them funny stories, and was always looking out for their well-being.
Shopping was like breathing to her. Without fail at finding a good deal, Louise was always coming home with many new food items, kitchenware and appliances, and hoards of clothes and shoes. While there was a lot of useless “stuff” there was always a gem like a random pair of kitchen scissors from Homegoods, that became a staple in someone’s life thanks to her.
Maui, Hawaii is where Louise found relief from the stresses of her role at Parent 2 Parent and the chaos of her children and grandchildren’s lives. She loved sitting on her sister Pat’s Lanai in Haiku, Hawaii drinking coffee and looking for rainbows. There were always trips to the beach, and plenty of shopping for herself and her daughters and grandchildren while on the island too. Louise would say she’s a survivor, and survive is what she did on every visit to Hana, Hawaii with a sticker and a shirt to prove that she “survived the Road to Hana.” She sent pictures and postcards to the grandchildren at home. She texted photos of the beach and the palm trees and requests for kids sizes so she could buy them t-shirts. Most of all she let her family know that she was taking care of herself and rejuvenating her passion for her work at Parent 2 Parent.
Little did she know, her body had been fighting all along to give her such a full life and allow her to touch so many other lives. Louise finally came home at the end of June to spend her last days with her family and pass peacefully from their lives. Her final weeks were spent basking in the the love and compassion of her sister, daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Louise is remembered as wife of nearly 52 years to Harry R.; Devoted mother of Carolyn (Steve Schaffer), Susan (Joshua Sacks), Megan Canzanese (Carl), and the late John; Cherished grandmother of Stephen (Marissa Bonetti), Henry, Chloe, Guthrie, Charlie; Adored daughter of the late Edna Mae (née McConnell) and Paul J. Cowan; Dear sister to Patricia M. Reed (George), and the late Joan Karlsson (survived by Gil); Treasured aunt to many nieces and nephews.
Visitation Saturday from 9:00 to 10:15 AM at Holy Angels Parish at St. Matthew’s RC Church, 4th St. & Monument Ave, National Park, NJ 08063; Funeral Mass 10:30 AM
In lieu of flowers, donations may also be made in her name to Parent 2 Parent, 1010B Tuckerton Rd, Marlton, NJ 08053.
Visit http://www.parent2parentnj.org/index.php for more info
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