Cover photo for Lois Elaine (Cook)  Laurence's Obituary
Lois Elaine (Cook)  Laurence Profile Photo

Lois Elaine (Cook) Laurence

November 26, 1933 — December 23, 2022

Lois Elaine (Cook) Laurence

Lois Elaine (Cook) Laurence was born in north Minneapolis and lived with her mother Mayme, father Oliver, sister Betty, and brother Thomas in a house on Queen Avenue North.  She graduated from William Penn Primary School, Patrick Henry High School, and the University of Minnesota.

Lois learned from her parents to value hospitality and service to others, and she demonstrated this throughout her life in countless ways.  As a teenager, her first job was working as a waitress at Dayton’s Skyroom restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.  She then went on to care for people as a licensed dental hygienist for several decades, working part-time while continuing to be a full-time wife and mother of three.

Following her divorce in 1983, she pulled up the tent stakes in Brooklyn Park and moved to Merrifield.  Changing gears, she found a way to reinvent herself by restarting work as a full time dental hygienist while also returning to school at age 50, attending Brainerd Community College.  In 1985, she obtained her second degree (this one in Social Services), and was hired by Crow Wing County to lead their Retired Senior Volunteer Program.  She worked for more than a decade as RSVP Director and was then glad for the opportunity to “retire” into her position at Crosslake Lutheran Church as their Volunteer Coordinator, serving the congregation for a long while in that capacity.  After singing (alto) for years in the choir, she remained a dedicated and dependable volunteer alongside friends at CLC up until the pandemic curtailed her attendance there.  As a quilter, she continued sewing quilt squares up until just a few months ago.

Her love for little sayings (“people do what people will do”) and musical jingles (“zippity doo dah” and “Buffalo Gals”, along with numerous Girl Scout songs) inspired many a young sojourner to get their act together and succeed.  She’d quote her dad (often) with statements like “the only way to get a job done is to DO it”.  That perspective served to inspire her to wear many hats, from party-throwing hostess to Brownie & Girl Scout Leader, and countless other “I can do this” activities that called to her from different directions throughout her life.  She believed in her children and knew and cherished each of them for their unique talents.  A great encourager, she made sure Jane, Jennifer, and Tom all had the opportunity to learn to play the piano.  When someone felt strongly about playing softball or broomball (Jane), or wanted dance lessons or to play a brass instrument (Jennifer), or play drums (!) and check out anything with engines (Tom), she was their biggest advocate.

She was a vibrant member of the Zonta Club and the Aitkin Lois Club (yes, all members are named “Lois”).  She loved a grapefruit half in the morning, Western or French dressing on tossed salad, cookies (one of her nicknames was “Cookie”), and lemon meringue pie.  Lois remained at home in the north woods on Horseshoe Lake off of County Road 3 in Merrifield until recently when she came to need more assistance with her daily living.  The family wishes to thank the caring staff at Whitefish at the Lakes, St. Croix Hospice, Home Instead, Lyngblomsten, Allina Hospice, and Crosslake Lutheran Church for helping her over her last months in her long and wonderful life.

Lois was preceded in death by parents, Oliver and Mayme Cook, sister Betty (Floyd) Anderson. She is survived by brother Thomas (Joan) Cook, daughters Jane Laurence (John Wright) and Jennifer (John) Spahr, son Thomas (Cammie) Laurence, grandchildren Cody, Kristin, Gordon, and Owen, great-grandchildren Eugene & Freyja, a niece and several nephews.

The service will be held at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN on January 19th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. (visitation at 10:00 and a luncheon to follow the service).  Live-streamed link will also be available at https://lordoflife.org/celebrationoflife.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lois Elaine (Cook) Laurence, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 19, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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