June 2, 2015

New Taintorette: Introducing Lillian Luis!

In May 2015, Deb Edwards and her brother David Luis were dining at the Blue Willow restaurant in Tucson, AZ when they decided to make a visit to the restaurant’s fabulous gift shop. They were in for a surprise. There, smiling back at them from a coin purse was their lovely mother Lillian! Lillian is the lady in red in one of my favorite all-time images.


Though not a professional model, Lillian had been featured in a lifestyle article in a women’s magazine. Lillian was one of the first 25 WAVES to join the Navy in World War II, and she ran the base at Treasure Island, San Francisco.

Lillian in the Navy


Lillian in the Navy#4

She arranged all entertainment for the base, and in this capacity met many celebrities & presidents, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes.

Lillian and Richard Nixon#2 with Jimmy Carter (1) With Gerald Ford

She also met her husband, Lt. Carlos W. Luis.

Wedding photo 12-01-1944

After the war, Lillian and Carlos moved to a small town in Minnesota to raise their four children – Richard, David, Keith and Debbie.

the Luis Family at Deb’s wedding

the Luis Family at Deb’s wedding

The Luis family in 1957

The Luis family in 1957

Deb says the “walk faster” caption is perfect for her mother! Lillian and one of her best friends spent many long Minnesota summer evenings walking back and forth to each other’s houses so they could keep chatting… and they were trailed on these endless walks by their two young daughters.

Lillian died peacefully in 2007.


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