Lois Margaret Gardner, age 90, of Kasson, died Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, under the care of Seasons Hospice.
Lois Margaret Dodge was born Dec. 4, 1928, in Rochester to Robert Harrison Dodge and Lucille Deane Morris Dodge. Her family farmed in Haverhill township, north of Rochester for many years, moving to a farm south of Douglas, about 1944. Lois attended Fitch School in Haverhill and then graduated from Rochester High School in 1946. She attended Austin Teacher Training and earned her teacher's certificate allowing her to teach in rural schools.
On Jan. 8, 1950, Lois married Glen G. Gardner at the Douglas Methodist Church. Soon after their marriage, Glen's National Guard unit was called into service for the Korean War and posted to Fort Rucker near Dothan, Ala. Glen and Lois lived in Predmore, Minn., until the summer of 1956, when they moved to their present home in Kasson. Except for 10 years, when they lived at Whispering Hills Girl Scout Camp near Houston, Minn., they resided in Kasson.
Lois was the "schoolmarm" at the Fitch School for 1947 and 1948 school years. She worked in retail and medical jobs in Rochester until she started working for Mayo Clinic as a medical technician from 1953 to 1956.
Lois was an active Girl Scout for over 50 years starting in 1960 -- first as a volunteer leader in Kasson. In 1973, Lois accepted a job with River Trails Girl Scout Council in Rochester and continued to work for them until her retirement in 1993 and then continued her volunteer work. She was an area membership director, council program director and from 1977 to 1987 was the summer camp director at Whispering Hills.
Lois was a life-long member of the Methodist Church and was a choir member, Sunday school teacher, and active in various fellowships at the Douglas and then Kasson Methodist churches.
As an accomplished seamstress and needleworker, sewing, knitting, cross-stitching, and quilting, she created many beautiful gifts for friends and family. After retirement, she also volunteered for the Friends of the Kasson Public Library and the Olmsted County History Center library.
Glen and Lois traveled to the western U.S. as often as possible, making their first of many trips to Montana's Glacier National Park in 1956. From then on, they continued to travel to Alaska, throughout Canada and the U.S. western states.
Lois is survived by her husband of 69 years, Glen; her daughter, Jeanette of Kasson; three sons, Jary (Elaine) of Kasson, James (Sharon) of Tucson, Ariz., and Jeffrey (Jill) of London, Ontario, Canada; six granddaughters, Erin (Jeremy) Evenson of Austin, Robin (Dan) McAnulty of Minneapolis, and Jessica, Emily, Lucy and Aly of London, Ontario; five great-grandchildren, Zachary, Katelyn, and Hailey Evenson of Austin, and Henry and Margaret McAnulty of Minneapolis; sisters, Alice (Richard) Witter of Muscatine, Iowa, and Doris Schleusner of Fountain; brother, Morris (LaDonna) Dodge; brother-in-law, Paul Cowden of Pine Island; and sister-in-law, Deb Maxon of Clarion, Iowa; and an extended family of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Lois was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Irene Cowden; her brother, Loren R. Dodge; and brother-in-law, Arnold Schleusner.
The memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, with Pastor Lester Horntvedt officiating. Family and friends may call one hour before the service on Wednesday, and a luncheon will be held following the service.
Memorials may be made to the family and will be donated to the River Valley Girl Scout Council.
Online condolences are welcome at mackenfuneralhome.com.