In Memory of





Obituary for Louise "Lou" Foudray (McNair)

Marie Louise (Lou) Foudray (McNair), 92, died March 17, 2022, in Atchison, Kansas, surrounded by her family.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace in Atchison. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the A.E. Birthplace Maintenance Fund or to the Atchison Public Library and may be sent in care of Becker-Dyer Stanton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left online at

Lou was born on July 22, 1929, in Howard, KS, the daughter of John Reid and Ruth (Atkinson) McNair. She attended high school and college in Winfield, KS. After moving to Atchison in 1963, she continued as a homemaker then worked at Hilligoss Shoe Store and Atchison Public Library for many years. In 1987 she moved into and began her almost 30 year tenure as curator and tour director at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace. Through much reading, studying and in-depth research, she became one of the most sought-after experts of Amelia’s life and disappearance. She has appeared in local and national publications including National Geographic and has been featured in many news casts, appearing on CNN, ABC, Good Morning America, HGTV, Kansas City networks, and radio programs and was a frequent speaker around the country.
She made a research trip to the Marshall Islands with the Amelia Earhart Research Society in 1993 and attended the christening of the USNS Amelia Earhart Navy cargo ship in San Diego, CA, by invitation of the Navy. Lou retired at the age of 87. She has garnered many honors, among them, the International 99’s Award of Merit, the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Award, and in 2017 was inducted into the International Forest of Friendship.

She was married to A. Keith Foudray in 1950. They divorced in 1972. She raised three sets of boy-girl twins. She is survived by her six children: Robert Foudray, Kansas City, KS; Dayna Dyer, Kansas City, KS; Mitchell Foudray, Santa Fe, NM; Kathy Kinney, Lee’s Summit, MO; John Foudray, Phoenix, AZ; and Janet Coyle, Atchison, KS; six grandchildren: Cara, Joseph, Courtney, Laura, Nicholas and Hailey; four great-grandchildren: Adria, Emma, Jaxon and Anna; two great-great grandchildren, Greyson and Stella Louise; three sisters: Amy, Lois, and Dee; one brother Jimmy; sons-in-law David Dyer and John Olesen, and daughters-in-law Patti Person and Kelly Foudray.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, and a son-in-law Mark Coyle.
Lou loved her family, the AE Birthplace Museum, and Atchison. She thought everyone should live in Atchison!