(By Senator Tomblin, Mr. President, Snyder, Unger, Boley, Chafin, Helmick, Rowe, Fanning, Ross, Smith, Minear, Sharpe, Facemyer, Guills, Plymale, Edgell, Kessler, White, Bowman, Minard, Jenkins, Love, Deem, Hunter, McKenzie and McCabe)

Memorializing the life of the Honorable Louise Leonard Nelson, former member of the West Virginia Senate from sixteenth senatorial district and dedicated stateswoman.

Whereas, Louise Leonard Nelson was born October 7, 1919, in Washington, D. C., the daughter of the late Roy Leslie and Florence Alberta (Bellows) McVey; and
Whereas, Following graduation from high school, Louise Leonard Nelson worked for the United States government in various areas. During World War II, she worked for 18 months in Alaska with the
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers as they built the Alcan Highway. Later, she worked in Calcutta, India, for the Office of Strategic Services until the end of the war; and
Whereas, In 1948 Louise Leonard Nelson received a degree in foreign affairs from George Washington University and began working at the United States Department of State; and
Whereas, In 1948 Louise Leonard Nelson married Marine Captain Robert P. Leonard, whom she had met in India. In 1952, they relocated to Harpers Ferry where they owned and operated a restaurant; and
Whereas, Louise Leonard Nelson was active in numerous community-related organizations, clubs and associations and Jefferson County politics. She served as chairperson of the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee, second vice president of the West Virginia Federation of Republican Women and was also a member of the board of the National Federation of Republican Women; and
Whereas, In 1968 Louise Leonard Nelson was appointed by Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., to the Task Force on Regional and Local Planning. In 1969 she was appointed by President Richard M. Nixon to a four-year term on the Advisory Board of the Federal Reformatory for Women in Alderson; and
Whereas, In 1970 the Honorable Louise Leonard Nelson was elected to the West Virginia Senate from the sixteenth senatorial district and served until 1974. She was the second woman in West Virginia history elected to the state Senate; and
Whereas, During her tenure in the Senate, the Honorable Louise Leonard Nelson served the citizens of Jefferson County and the citizens of West Virginia with dedication and commitment. One of her proudest efforts while a senator was when she traveled to Paris, France, in an attempt to meet with North Vietnamese officials to gain the release of American military personnel held as prisoners of war. Although they refused to meet with her, she was able to deliver written arguments for the release of those Americans; and
Whereas, In 1975, following the death of her beloved husband, she continued her education and earned a master's degree in political science from George Washington University; and
Whereas, Louise Leonard Nelson, who traveled extensively, met Dr. Clarence Nelson of San Francisco, California, and they were married in 1985. As a resident of San Francisco, she was active in many organizations, including the St. Francis Yacht Club, the San Francisco Garden Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also continued as an active member of many Republican organizations; and
Whereas, Although Dr. Clarence Nelson passed away in October, 2001, Louise Leonard Nelson continued to live in San Francisco, surrounded by extended family members and many dear friends. Sadly, on Monday, October 14, 2002, Louise Leonard Nelson passed away, bringing to an end a lifetime of dedicated public service; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate hereby memorializes the life of the Honorable Louise Leonard Nelson and recognizes the many contributions she made to the citizens of the sixteenth senatorial district and the State of West Virginia by her service as a member of the West Virginia Senate; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Senate hereby extends its sincere sadness at the passing of the Honorable Louise Leonard Nelson, a dedicated public servant and stateswoman.