Lois Adelaide Will
Born in Rosendale, Wisconsin on March 22nd, 1928
Departed on September 20th, 2019 and resided in Denver, Colorado
Lois Adelaide (Weiss) Will (Age 91) of Denver, Colorado passed away peacefully on September 20, 2019. Lois was born on March 22, 1928 in Rosendale, Wisconsin, the daughter of Albert and Hedwig (Hattie) Weiss. Lois’ childhood was spent on her parents’ dairy farms in Rosendale and Neenah, Wisconsin with her older brother, Gary and younger sister, Margaret. Lois graduated at the age of 17 from Neenah High School in 1945.
After graduation, Lois attended North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where she majored in Sociology and minored in Art. Lois graduated from North Central in 1949 and married James E. Will that August. Lois was married to James for 35 years. After their wedding in Neenah, Lois and Jim lived in Naperville before moving to Patterson, NJ in 1954-55 where she completed her teaching degree at the Teacher’s College in NYC. While there she transformed the Sunday school and youth programs at the church Jim was pastor for in Paterson.
Lois taught school in New Jersey while her husband completed his PhD at Columbia. Lois and Jim moved back to Naperville where she taught school before she had her five children. Mom was active in her church in the ’60s and ’70s at Community United Methodist Church in Naperville, singing in choir and teaching Sunday school. The family later moved to Evanston, Illinois.
Lois’ first love was art and she always found ways to incorporate art into her life – from creating a signature banner that hung in Wheadon UMC in Evanston for 30 years, to designing clothes, to sculpting in her later years. When Lois hit her fifties, she pursued her life’s passion and took art classes – in particular sculpting classes from Nellie Barr. She found much joy in growing as an artist and made many sculptures during this time in her life. She continued to tutor and teach art well into her later years.
After her children were all grown, Lois made a big change in her life and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to be in nature and the mountains and be a part of an artist community. Lois designed and built her own house to meet her needs as an artist/teaching artist. She thrived in this lovely community between 1988 and 1998.
Lois contracted Guillian Barre Syndrome while in Steamboat, which impacted her mobility, and was a reason for her eventual to move to Heather Gardens Retirement Community in Aurora, Colorado. She found it easier to get around her one story duplex. Lois resided at her home in Heather Gardens from 1999 – 2013 where she continued to be interested in art and was head of their democratic committee for a few years. She lived there happily until she moved to Emeritus Highline Assisted Living (Brookdale Highline) where she spent her final years.
Lois was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Gary Weiss and her ex-husband, James Will. Lois was deeply loved and adored by her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters. Survivors include her children, Kristen Will (Penny Nichols), Laurie Will Carter, Michael Will (Julia Will), Eric Will, Kevin Will, grandchildren, Michael Carter, Melissa Carter, John Will, Eleanor Will, Bailey Will, Trinity Will, her sister, Margaret Berg (Bruce Berg), sister-in-law Miriam Berg, many nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends including her “college sister,” Vivian Minor.
A Memorial service was held at Brookdale Highline Assisted Living on September 25, 2019 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm mountain time. A second memorial service will be held in the Chicago area in early summer 2020 – the date/time is yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to her favorite charity, Heifer International.
Tributes from her children:
My sweet mom would have been 91 and a half today. We lost her two days ago. She was creative and sensitive soul. Mom believed that love never fails. She taught us to be open-minded, open-hearted, and to treat others with kindness. Mom always found beauty in the natural world and felt an extra connection with trees and birds in recent years. She was a talented artist who relished engaging in many creative endeavors. I treasure the sculptures she created. A teacher by profession, Mom had a passion for learning and growing in all kinds of ways. It’s so hard to believe she is gone from this world. I will miss her dearly as I hold her tenderly in my heart. ~Laurie Will Carter
My mom entered God’s eternal rest today. She taught me how to be a loving person and for that I will always be grateful. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, artist and teacher. All of our family was so blessed by her life. She will be missed very much!~Mike Will
Today a beautifully creative and soulful woman passed from this earth and left behind a wonderful legacy of teaching, caring and artistry. A beloved mother of 5 and grandmother of 6 – She taught me that true strength comes from authenticity and not ego. My brother said it best when he said “she taught him how to love” – Miss you Mom ~Eric Will
I’m forever grateful for the sweet, loving, generous and ever authentic Mom I had. She passed away today at the age of 91. I’m feeling nothing but love and gratitude for her love and life. Thank you, Momza! I love you.~Kevin Will
My beautiful, amazing, artistic, whimsical, creative, mother was passionate about social justice, loved nature, flowers, trees, birds and her family. She was inclusive and welcoming, gracious and appreciative. Even throughout her struggles with aging and cognitive decline she never lost her sense of humor, wanting to engage with the world and finding a sense of beauty. I will miss her terribly. ~Kris Will