Lois "Jeanne" Bouse raised a family in Woodbury and was a...

Lois "Jeanne" Bouse raised a family in Woodbury and was a model who appeared in magazines and TV commercials and on game shows in the 1950s. Credit: Cornell Bouse

Lois Bouse was the epitome of elegance, class and poise, with a beauty that radiated from the inside out, family members said.

“She was the most caring person. She worked as a legal secretary later in life, and on her birthday every year, she brought in gifts for everyone else in the office,” said her son Cornell V. Bouse, president of the Suffolk County Bar Association.

“That's the type of person she was.”

Lois Bouse, 90, better known by her middle name, Jeanne, died on Saturday at a Melville rehabilitation center as a result of dementia, her son said. She had most recently been living with him in Lloyd Harbor.

Her husband, Frank Courts Bouse, who died in 1988, ran twice in the 1960s for Nassau district attorney and was a well-known Long Island criminal defense lawyer.

She was born Lois Jeanne Shope in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1933. Her family moved in 1951 to Miami, where she became known as one of the original Cypress Gardens girls, promoting water skiing as a recreational activity in the early 1950s.

It was on the lakes in Winter Haven, Florida, where Bouse climbed atop a pyramid of six skiers, a maneuver made famous in pictures and postcards of the era. She also competed in the Miss Florida beauty pageant, her son said.

She earned an associate degree from the University of Miami in 1953, before having an active career as a fashion model. Bouse often appeared in magazines and in television commercials of the day as well as game shows, including "The Big Payoff," according to her son.

While in New York for a photo shoot in 1958, Bouse met her future husband at a wedding. They married six months later and raised three children in Woodbury.

“She was a great mom and always there for us,” said Cornell Bouse. “My father was the greatest defense lawyer in the county, but was even more proud to have her on his arm.”

She loved animals, her son said, especially German shepherds, and was never without one. She also enjoyed ceramics, walking and swimming.

“She lit up a room,” he said, “She'll be missed, and was loved by anybody fortunate enough to know her.”

Along with her son Cornell, Bouse is survived by another son, Frank, of Massapequa; a daughter, Tracey Cicale, of Setauket; and nine grandchildren.

A wake is set from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington Station. Funeral services are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington, followed by burial at St. Patrick Cemetery in Cold Spring Harbor.

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months