Lois Inez Parsons
Long-time Madison resident Lois Inez Westbury Parsons, age 89, passed away Sunday morning, February 2 in nursing care at Oakwood Village West.
Lois was born December 22, 1924 at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, the only child of Mildred (Schawalder) and Thomas Westbury. She attended school in Altoona, PA from first to fourth grade, when the family moved to Pittsburgh. She then attended Westlake Public School and Langley High School. At Langley, Lois participated in sports all four years, loved being a cheerleader, acted in the class play (“Lucy Bell Lee From Nashville, Tennessee”), and was elected a class officer. Additionally, she was elected “Miss Langley” by her peers, and rose to the top academically as class valedictorian.
Lois received a partial scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, where she majored in Chemistry, with minors in math and economics. She was a member of Cwens, a women’s honors society, and was elected Junior Worthy. As a senior she was elected to both Senior Court and Mortar Board Society. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and remained active with Tri-Delts for many years afterwards in Madison.
In 1945 she married William B. Parsons, Jr. of Apollo, PA. Lois worked at the US Bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh as a chemist from 1946-49. In 1950 they moved to Rochester, MN, where she worked in bio-chemistry at the Mayo Clinic while her husband did his Internal Medicine residency.
Two sons were born in Rochester: William Scott (Ruth), now of Wenatchee, WA, and Robert Westbury (Heather) of Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. Lois raised her two young sons in Coronado, CA for two years while William served as a Navy doctor during the Korean War.
Lois moved to Madison in 1956 and lived there ever since. Daughter Ellen Lois was born in 1961, when the family lived in the Nakoma neighborhood. Later, they lived in the Odana neighborhood before Lois moved into her own home on Rolla Lane in the Midvale neighborhood. She spent her last two years at Oakwood.
Active in Madison Garden Club, a Meals On Wheels volunteer, and very involved in her childrens’ school and lives, her independence really took wings after her divorce in 1973. She became very involved with the Friendship Force, visiting many countries and locales across Europe and Asia, while also hosting visitors from other nations. She remained active and athletic, enjoying bicycling, cross-country skiing, and tennis. She was a member of Madison Tennis Club, Powless Tennis Center, and represented the state of Wisconsin at the Senior Olympics at Utica NY in 1991, after winning the state doubles title in the 60+ division.
Lois was a regular precinct volunteer on election days, and enjoyed ushering at the Overture Center for several years, until her advancing neuropathy made it difficult for her to remain on her feet. She participated in book discussions and film presentations with the Plato Senior Learning Program.
Lois will be warmly remembered for her kindness, intellect, sense of humor, and directness. She was discouraged by her loss of mobility and dexterity, but retained her dignity and integrity despite the physical decline of the aging process.
She is survived by her three children, and three grandchildren: Sam William Parsons (JuJu) of Seattle, WA; and Dante and Davida Diaz, Fitchburg.
The family extends their appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Oakwood Villages and Agrace Hospice for their professional, compassionate care, and to a few special friends, especially Margo McKnight, Barb Leutner, Meg Schell, and Mara Jensen.
It was Lois’ wish that no memorial service be held.
Donations in Lois’ memory may be made to Agrace Hospice at https://www.agrace.org/
Online remembrances may be made at www.CressFuneralService.com
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