Lois Bouton, “The Coast Guard Lady”, Passes at 102

Lois Bouton, the Coast Guard Lady, is made an honorary chief and pinned by Chief Petty Officer Allen Monterroza (left) and Chief Petty Officer Scott Lussier (right) at the Chief's Call to Indoctrination dinner in St. Louis, Oct. 25, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ayla Kelley)

Lois Bouton, the Coast Guard Lady, is made an honorary chief and pinned by Chief Petty Officer Allen Monterroza (left) and Chief Petty Officer Scott Lussier (right) at the Chief’s Call to Indoctrination dinner in St. Louis, Oct. 25, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ayla Kelley)

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved Coast Guard Lady, Mrs. Lois Bouton. Lois Corinne Guenette Bouton of Rogers, AR, died on January 29, 2022, at the age of 102. She was born to Louis and Florence Boyle Guenette on September 21, 1919, in Rochelle, IL. She married William Bouton on February 21, 1945. Lois attended Glen Flora and Greenwood elementary schools in Waukegan, IL and graduated from Waukegan High School. She attended Northern Illinois State Teachers College (now Northern Illinois University) and graduated with a degree in Lower Elementary Education. After graduation she taught at the one room Bean Hill school near Antioch, IL for three years and for one year at Little Beach School.

During WWII, Lois enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, known as the “SPARs,” the acronym for the Coast Guard’s motto, “Semper Paratus – Always Ready” in August 1943. As a radio operator, Lois was assigned to Coast Guard Radio Station Cape May, NJ and later to an air station, finally to the Coast Guard district office in Philadelphia. She was discharged from the SPARs in November 1945 as a Radioman Third Class.

After World War II the Boutons lived briefly in Waukegan, then moved to Zion, IL. She taught in Little Beach/Beach school (now known as Howe Elementary School). Lois retired from teaching mostly first grade classes after 30 years. In 1974, Lois and William moved to Rogers, AR from Zion, IL. Her love for the Coast Guard continued through the rest of her life. When traveling over the years, she and her husband visited many Coast Guard units. She wrote thousands of letters to members of the Coast Guard community (active, reserve, retired, civilian and family members) for which she became known as “The Coast Guard Lady.” Her faithful letter writing over the years brought many honors and personal visits from Coast Guard personnel from all over including present and former Commandants and Master Chief Petty Officers of the Coast Guard. In recent years, newly promoted Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers from the St. Louis area would come out and pay her a visit around her birthday each year as part of their indoctrination to the Chief Petty Officers corps.

Lois received many illustrious honors from the Coast Guard and the U.S. government, including the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award, and the “Spirit of Hope” award presented by the Department of Defense. Her most prized honor was receiving the rank as “Honorary Master Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband William, daughter Betsy Ann Bouton-Jakubik, Lois’s sisters Gretchen Guenette and Barbara (Charles) Whitford. Lois is survived by her son-in-law John Jakubik of Nottingham, MD, and nieces Cheryl Whitford of York, PA and Nancy (Will) Lines of Maple Grove, MN.

She was a charter member of Grace United Methodist Church in Rogers, AR. She was also a charter member of the Lighthouse Society, NWA Women’s Veterans, and the Illinois American Legion Post #1122. Lois also served over 20 years with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Beaver Lake Flotilla and was also awarded the position as an Honorary Commodore in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Her legacy will never be forgotten.

Funeral services will be held in Rogers, AR on 07 FEB 2022. The Services will also be livestreamed at: https://www.facebook.com/Grace-United-Methodist-Church-104660949570639


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