July 12, 2012 – by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor
Early this week came an end to an era. My “surrogate” mother passed from this Earth at the age of 91. Louise Gerbing was a warrior for nature and spent much of her “retired” life fighting pollution in the Ohio Valley.
Louise was a gentle soul, her footprint negligible, living simply so that others could simply live. She was always ready to help others accomplish their goals and worked tirelessly to improve all of our lives.
But the warrior side of her was evident when she took it upon herself to organize a literal grandmas’ army to fight polluters like Union Carbide and BASF from locating their pollution factories in the Evansville air and watersheds.
We all owe her for her efforts. But I owe her much more. She gave me guidance and support as Valley Watch adapted to an ever changing lower Ohio River Valley. She asked nothing in return.
Perhaps some day, citizens of this area will recognize people like Louise for their efforts on everyone’s behalf to improve the basic things like the air and water vital to our very existence. Until then, it is important to understand that it is through the efforts of people like Louise Gerbing true progress happens and we will be forever grateful.