Lompoc Pops Masthead

Louise Mollath & The Bells

stands by the bells she donated to
the Lompoc Pops Orchestra.

Remembering Louise

Generous donations, including annual gifts to the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, and a positive outlook on life were just some reasons cited by friends of longtime philanthropist Louise Mollath.

Mollath, the Lompoc Valley’s Woman of the 20th Century and the first public health nurse in town, passed away at the age of 98. She died of natural causes, though she had been diagnosed with cancer and had suffered a broken leg. She was bedridden for at least a month.

Louise resided in Lompoc since the late 1930s, and her contributions to the community will long be remembered.

Her donation of $12,000 to the Lompoc Police Department helped fund K-9, Xito, ensuring that the department would have a dog for tracking down bad guys and other duties. She also donated $12,000 for a new roof for the Lompoc Valley Historical Society’s Spanne House, and she made investments that could amount to as much as $2 million for the Cabrillo High School Aquarium and Lompoc Pops Orchestra, said Ron Sabo, Mollath’s friend and attorney.

Mollath bequeathed money to many other organizations, and she donated her body for research to the University of California at San Francisco Medical School, where she got her nursing degree. “She was very thoughtful up to the very end,” Sabo said.

Some other of Louise’s philanthropic endeavors included getting funding to help build the Lompoc Hospital, establishing a Northern Santa Barbara




County Blood Bank in 1960, teaching children and people who were afraid of water how to swim, donating money towards defibrillators on emergency services vehicles and providing a home to rescued dogs.

Sabo attributed Mollath’s longevity to her love for swimming. Up until about four years ago, she would spend about an hour a day in her pool, he said.
“Swimming was a real love of her life,” he said. She also loved music and donated at least $5,000 to the Lompoc Pops Orchestra every year and would sometimes give additional money for various Pops events. Mollath’s pool and her generosity helped Lompoc City Councilman Mike Siminski deal with a disease that caused his leg muscles to stop working. She let him use her pool for rehabilitation. “She was a woman with a 50-year-old’s mind in a 100-year-old body,” Siminski said.

Siminski described Mollath as spontaneous and one of the most philanthropic people in Lompoc. “She was very generous. If there was a cause she would pull out her checkbook.”

In January 2000, she was selected as Woman of the Century by the Lompoc Chamber and the Lompoc Historical Society.

A memorial service for Mollath was held at 2 p.m. June 8, 2006 at the Unity Church of Santa Maria, 1165 Stubblefield Road, Orcutt.

Santa Maria Times
May 31, 2006