Louise Herot never arrived at a meeting \u2014 even one she chaired, and there were many of those indeed for organizations all over town \u2014 without having in hand wonderful baked goodies of her own creation in quantity sufficient to feed all of those in attendance and then some! And that\u2019s just where her sweetness began.Her sudden passing a month ago left those who knew her stunned. One could recently see some physical health issues, yet even at 90 years of age she still faithfully attended meetings, and often led them, doing so almost to the end. But that was very much Louise. Her volunteer work in town took many different forms: service on the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education, service as president both of the League of Women Voters and of the Wilton Library Association, leadership roles on two town Charter commissions including the one that wrote Wilton\u2019s first town Charter following adoption of municipal home rule by our state in the 1950s, and her leadership in town interfaith work which this paper described in its front-page coverage of her passing and which I won\u2019t repeat.What I will do here is to underscore Louise\u2019s special quality of sweetness. Whether in a smile that lit up her face as much as it would warm the viewer, or in a kind and thoughtful gesture perfectly suited to the needs of its recipient, her sweetness was always evident. Yet that sweetness was never saccharin. It came with forthrightness and a willingness to take on tough issues \u2014 but always doing so with love and concern for the other person even if that person\u2019s views in question were very different from Louise\u2019s own.Some \u2014 ones who definitely didn\u2019t know Louise \u2014 might term this \u201ccivility\u201d and think that word fully captures the concept as she reflected it. But her gift of lovingly expressed forthrightness was much more profound than even that important word denotes and connotes. It reflected her desire and ability to see the best in every person and to encourage that best \u2014 doing so as necessary with candor expressed lovingly, but firmly nonetheless. Having been on the grateful receiving end of that gracious candor, I can personally attest to how effective her transcendent form of civility was and how much I wish I could emulate the depths of Louise\u2019s mastery of it, for in this she was truly a Zen master!One also knew that Louise\u2019s enormous intellect, combined with her unflagging persistence, when applied to any issue \u2014 however thorny \u2014 would lead to a really good and effective resolution. That resolution would be one arrived at by consensus and not by fiat, but it would nonetheless carry the mark of Louise\u2019s insightful analysis and her determination always to do not just something good (important as that is) but the best thing possible in the circumstances. Whether for a series topic or an individual session in the library\u2019s and historical society\u2019s very popular American history series \u2014 that was in the planning stages for its 11th year under Louise\u2019s diligent and highly effective leadership at the time of her death \u2014 or thinking through next steps in everything from town governance to refugee resettlement, her mind was spinning new ideas and taking group discussions of these subjects in engaging directions, and her meticulous post-meeting written summaries assured that key points weren\u2019t lost with the passage of time and that overall objectives remained in sharp focus.Some of Louise\u2019s sophistication in analysis was undoubtedly the product of her background in mathematics to the level of a Ph.D. and her teaching of it during her professional life, but the rest of it seemed to have come from a depth of spirit \u2014 an \u201cold-soul\u201d appreciation of the world in both its lofty grandeur and its mundane foibles \u2014 that had nothing to do with chronological age and everything to do with great maturity of insight. She would never overbearingly dump those insights upon you, but she would offer them if you asked and, gently but firmly even if you didn\u2019t ask if it was evident that you needed help in finding your way.And that was a great gift that all of us will miss every bit as much as we will miss her radiant smile. We will have a chance to celebrate Louise\u2019s many gifts to us all at a memorial service to be held at Wilton Library at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 15.