At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Community Foundation
402 E Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Mackinac Island Community Foundation
1391 Hoban St
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned nearly a century, Lois Largo was a blessing in the lives of so many around her. She had an insatiable desire to learn new things, and she was a firm believer in fully applying herself to everything she did. Generous beyond measure, Lois was the sort of person who would do whatever she could for others in ways both great and small. Her devotion to her family was easy to see, and there was nothing she loved more than being surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Deeply loved, Lois will be forever missed.
The Roaring Twenties were some of the most exciting days we’ve seen as a nation, and the days were primarily prosperous ones. Cars were more affordable thanks to the assembly line, and Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh took the world of flight to new heights. There was great celebration in the lives of Wheaton and Belle (Hoffman) Hicks during this time as they were blessed with the birth of the baby girl they named Lois on January 17, 1925, on the family farm in Tyrone Township of Fenton, Michigan. Her father was a farmer while her mother taught at the local high school. Lois was joined in her family by her sister, Lucile, who sadly died of pneumonia when Lois was just three years old. Tragedy struck in their family just two days later with the death of her grandfather. Since she was raised as an only child, Lois was close to her cousins, Brad and Norma, who were more like siblings. Thanksgivings were always spent with them, which was her favorite holiday. Her mother was strict, but Lois could outsmart her by hiding, at least for a time, as her mother would patiently wait with a wooden spoon for spanking. She had a vivid imagination while growing up being an only child out in the country. A favorite pastime was pretending that the furnace in the basement was a coal mine, but when she ended up covered in soot on one occasion her mother’s discipline was immediate.
As a young girl, Lois learned to be generous. While living through the Great Depression of the 1930s, her family was fortunate to be self-sufficient with their farm. Even better, they blessed others with their good fortune as her mother was known to provide meals to travelers on their back porch.
After graduating from Hartland High School, Lois was eager for all that life had in store. Lois had become an accomplished violinist, entertaining friends at her mother’s request and although she was offered a scholarship to study music at Michigan State University, she declined in order to pursue her interest in the medical field. She earned a degree in medical technology from Michigan State University and later earned her BS in Nursing (RN) from Wayne State University.
It was while attending high school that Lois met the young man of her dreams. He was a classmate named Donald Largo who was two years older. Though Lois always had an eye out for Donald, it wasn’t until their paths crossed again when Lois was working at Wayne County General Hospital and the Eloise Institution that the sparks flew. Within a year from the time they began dating they were married on September 20, 1947, at Hartland Music Hall. Together they welcomed five children into their hearts and home, Michael, Donald, Peter, Lisa, and Thomas. The family home, located in Detroit, was always full of kids, friends, pets, and activity and energy of all kinds. Lois was an animal lover, and she was forever taking in abandoned cats and dogs. She was actively involved in the lives of her children including as a Girl Scout leader. An accomplished seamstress, she sewed clothing for her kids, and also encouraged her children to take up a musical instrument. They had a sailboat named “Chicken of the Sea,” which they enjoyed sailing on Lake St. Clair. Summers were spent on Mackinac Island as Lois and Donald bought a historic property there in 1968. When her youngest child was approaching middle school, Lois returned to study nursing, obtaining her master’s in nursing from Wayne State University.
With her kind and generous spirit, Lois was exceptional at her job and touching the world around her. She enjoyed providing nursing care in areas that were challenging including at the ICU at Detroit General Hospital, with her husband in his surgery practice, and at Hospice of Washtenaw. Always willing to be of service, in August of 1987 Lois and Donald were working at a clinic near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. They were called to sift through wreckage after a nearby plane crash, lending their expertise and skills. Within her community Lois was involved in supporting women’s issues. They took their son, Mike, to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak, and Lois was part of the local chapter of the “Great Decisions” program, which later broke off as the “Study Club” as they had all become such close friends. Her extensive travels took her to several states within the country and also to Mexico, Costa Rico, China, Italy, France, and Scandinavia.
Throughout her life Lois was one to keep busy. Someone who loved being social, she was a gracious hostess who always wore a smile and had many friends. She was a wonderful cook and loved preparing meals for others. Lois loved to play bridge and although she would say she was not a grand master she was a highly competent player who won the end of the season tournament on several occasions with different partners. Since Lois was always thinking of others, she traveled quite a bit later in life so she could be there for all of the special days that her loved ones were celebrating like graduations, weddings, and the births of new family members. Lois was also there to comfort dying or ill friends and loved ones.
All who knew Lois Largo would agree that she was beautiful on the inside and out. She worked hard in everything she did, and she loved nothing more than using her gifts and talents to care for others in ways both great and small. Lois was so blessed to be a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother many times over. Cheerful, positive, and never one to shy away from a challenge, she always filled with unconditional love and acceptance, she touched the lives of so many. Lois will never be forgotten.
Lois Largo, of Kalamazoo, Age 95, died on May 1, 2020. Lois was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Lucile, and her husband, Donald J. Largo. Surviving are her children: Michael (Linda) Largo, Donald (Julia) Largo, Peter Largo, Lisa (Mark) Largo-Marsh, and Tom (Peg) Largo; grandchildren: Katherine (Jere) Largo Yourth, Laura Marsh, Paul Marsh, Kyle Clayton, and Mike Melaney; and great-grandchildren: Brielle and Quinn Yourth. Cremation has taken place. A Life Story Celebration will be held at a later date. Visit Lois’ personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read her Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo or Mackinac Island Community Foundations or the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.