This article was submitted by the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. Louise Trask died in July 2021.
Finding a way to honor Louise Trask’s legacy was not difficult. The seed of inspiration was planted when Louise’s eldest daughter, Melissa Henry, was just 5 years old. Louise took her two young daughters to church one day and when the pastor called for a prayer request, Melissa raised her little hand and said, “I would like to ask you to pray that my dad will stop hitting my mom. .
Fortunately, Melissa’s prayers have been answered. The church community rallied around Louise in support, giving her a moving truck to pack her things and gas money. She ended up in Las Cruces and became a well-known face in the community. After several years working in sales for the manufactured home industry, Louise was hired as a mortgage loan officer at a local credit union. While there, she made it her mission to help others realize their dream of buying their forever home. “She was like a mom figure to everyone,” Melissa said. “She helped people fix their credit and gave them tips like ‘you don’t have to eat a burrito at a restaurant every day for lunch’ to get people to start thinking about saving for their new home.”
Even though the high demands and commitments at home prevented Louise from graduating from high school, education has always remained important to her. She has volunteered at local schools, sharing her time and expertise to help provide financial literacy information to high school youth. Louise also used her past experiences to speak in college home economics classes about domestic violence, including types of abuse and signs to look out for.
Louise used the church’s investment to create a new life, a life filled with hope, love and service to her community. Now that his daughter Melissa and her husband, Dr. Kevin E. Henry, are church founders and pastors in Pantego, Texas, they, along with their church family at Word of Truth International Ministries, have chosen to come full circle. of Louise’s story by creating The Louise Trask Memorial Foundation Fund. The fund, housed at the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, was created to help other women in southern New Mexico who were in situations of domestic violence find a fresh start. Proceeds from the fund will provide assistance with new down payments, apartment rent and deposits, and education-related expenses such as tuition or GED application fees.
When we asked Melissa why the creation of this fund was important, she replied: “We can use what has been done for my mother, my sister and me to help other mothers and their children and give them a Second chance. This is my mother’s legacy – she meant well for everyone and had a caring heart for others.
Louise’s family also found creative ways for those who knew Louise to help support the endowment established in her memory. Special commemorative t-shirts will be sold with proceeds going to the Louise Trask Memorial Foundation fund. After Louise passed away, Melissa rediscovered a children’s book she wrote in seventh grade and which her mother helped her create. The book “Where’s Sara?” will be published and dedicated to Louise, with proceeds from the sale also supporting the endowment.
To learn more about the Louise Trask Memorial Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, visit https://bit.ly/3bS39Aq.