Lois Elizabeth Milton, 93, of Rock Island, died peacefully Wednesday, October 7, attended by family, in Friendship Manor, her home for the past three years.
A private family funeral service will held at the Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island, Saturday October 24, at 10:00 am and can be viewed at, www.wheelanpressly.com/live-stream. Burial will be in the Rock Island Memorial Park Cemetery.
Born 1926 in Princeton IL, Lois graduated from Tiskilwa High School and attended Augustana College in Rock Island IL, 1944-46, training for a nursing career. In April 1946 a sorority sister introduced Lois to her fiancé’s brother, Arthur Milton, oil geologist, home on leave from oil exploration in Venezuela. They married on June 21 in Rock Island, honeymooned in Tulsa OK, and Art flew back to Venezuela on July 1. Lois could not get a visa to join Art until September.
In 1947 Lois and Art moved back to the States, moving twenty-three times around the oil exploration “circuit” of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, and Canada. In 1954 the family of five went to Calgary, Alberta, in 1956 to Casper WY (two more children), and in 1965 to Tulsa OK. In 1974 Lois and Art and three children moved to Metairie LA, next door to New Orleans, where they lived over 40 years. Art died in 1998. Lois came to Friendship Manor in Rock Island, arriving on a very cold January 1, 2017.
Lois created a home wherever she lived, including in the South’s rooming houses and trailer parks, then in rental houses as her family grew, and in family homes. She and Art always found a Lutheran Church for the family; they sang in choir, taught Sunday school and summer Bible school, and worked on Council and committees. Lois enjoyed playing bridge, baking her legendary cookies, and planting beautiful flowers and shrubs. In Casper she canned the many bushels of fruits and vegetables that Art brought back from his field trips in Utah and Colorado. She also baked 5 loaves of rye and 5 loaves of wheat bread every week.
In Tulsa, Lois worked at the Etcetera House Gift Shop. As manager she travelled to yearly trade fairs in Mexico; her Spanish made vendors wonder where she lived in Venezuela. In New Orleans, Lois worked for the U.S. Strategic Program Reserve as executive secretary, retiring after ten years. Lois and Art also sold real estate in Metairie. She was an active member of the New Orleans Newcomers Club. Lois and Art enjoyed the Mardi Gras carnival season, visiting family, and traveling to resorts in the U.S. and Mexico. All her life Lois had the rare gift of making and maintaining friendships that lasted for many years.
After Art died in 1998, Lois stayed in Metairie, enjoying her bridge groups, her flowers, her Wellness Center, Atonement Lutheran Church, Metairie itself, and her five visiting children. Lois continued traveling in Hawaii, Italy, Paris, England, Ireland, and Mexico. She and the house survived Hurricane Katrina and other storms. She moved to Friendship Manor in 2017, back to the town where she went to college, met her husband, and, in her last years, enjoyed her fourteen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.
Lois is survived by her children and their spouses, Art (Linda) Milton of Rock Island IL, Susan Milton (Cynthia Eagar) of Orleans MA, Eric (Amalia) Milton of Metairie LA, Debbie Biscoe-Ingram (Rick Ingram) of Houston TX, and Mary (Ron) Chappell of Rock Island IL.
Lois’s grandchildren include Becky Milton (Bret Howard), Andrew (Shannon) Milton, Andrew (Gina) Campbell; Kathleen Pouser, Cyndi Bancroft (James), Kerry Eagar (Michael Downing); Christopher (Julie) Milton, Kenneth (Brooke) Milton; Kirsten (Chris) Langford, Kelsey (Chris) Dalrymple, Karley Biscoe, Kevin Ingram; Seth (Karen) Chappell, Ben (Jordan) Chappell. Lois survived the death of her parents and her two brothers.
The family is grateful to Friendship Manor Silver Cross staff, for their many kindnesses and for keeping Lois connected by video with her family each weekday during the ongoing pandemic.
Memorials may be made to the Arthur Alverne Milton (‘40) Memorial Scholarship Fund at Augustana College, 639 38th Street, Rock Island IL 61201, Silver Cross Activity Department-Technology at Friendship Manor, 1209 21st Avenue, Rock Island IL 61201 or Tiskilwa Historical Society, P. O. Box 87, 110 E. Main Street, Tiskilwa IL 61368.
Online condolences may be left for the family at wheelanpressly.com
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