Life Story Visitation
Monday, July 31, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
St. Joseph Catholic Church
936 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a warm smile, wonderful laugh, and a full heart, Lois Stermer lived a life rich in family and faith. Lois selflessly devoted herself to her family, ensuring their wellbeing and supporting their every endeavor. Happiest when in the company of her children, grandchildren, and all people she met, Lois relished every moment they spent together. Whether gathering for a homecooked meal, cheering them on from the stands, comforting them when they were sick or facing a challenge, Lois embraced them in love, support, and hope. Cherished by all, Lois will long be remembered and so very missed.
Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than in the hearts and home of Roy and Fern Garrison as they welcomed their daughter Lois on July 26, 1936 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
As a child, Lois loved sledding down the hill on Mills Street and ice skating in Crosstown Park in Kalamazoo. Lois’ family vacationed on Pickerel Lake in the summer, where she enjoyed spending time fishing with her dad. Lois loved music, singing and playing piano duets with her sisters. Lois graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School.
Her parents, Roy and Fern, loved dancing and frequented the YMCA socials and took Lois and her sisters with them. While dancing at the YMCA, Lois met Donald N. Stermer, who had returned home from serving in the Army. Lois was instantly smitten with Don, and the happy couple married in Kalamazoo on November 27, 1954. Their marriage was a forty-nine-year adventure together.
The newlyweds settled in a home that Don built, and eventually relocated to the farm in Scotts. Don and Lois devoted themselves to raising their eight children and operating the family farm. They liked farm life and living in the country, where they always had a vegetable and flower garden. Lois canned and froze much of the garden's harvest and was an exceptionally good cook. She made countless dishes from the potatoes grown fresh on their farm. She was famous for her homemade pies, cakes, and baked special double layer birthday cakes on all her kids', grandkids, and family’s birthdays. She always prepared Sunday family dinner and enjoyed preparing a large meal for guests. Her special recipes included homemade rolls, pies, and potato salad.
Lois volunteered her time as a 4-H leader for over 40 years mentoring young people and also for St. Joseph Catholic Church. She was an accomplished seamstress and made clothes for her kids when they were young and baptismal gowns for church members. She was a longtime member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. Lois sang in the choir, and participated in other fun church activities. She took communion to fellowship members who were unable to attend mass. Whenever anyone was sick or hospitalized, she had a bundle of angel teddy bears she'd gift to others to brighten their spirits.
Lois' greatest joy was her family. She was proud of her family and their accomplishments. As her children became parents, Lois welcomed her new role as a grandmother and was very supportive of all their endeavors. She was very proud of her grandkids and enjoyed taking them to church, followed by lunch with Aunts and Uncles and extended family. Lois made it a point to be at every special event including school events, sports, concerts, plays, 4-H, and school graduations.
Lois loved music, dancing, flowers, playing cards (pitch) and ice cream sundaes (butter pecan), and animals (cats, pigs, dogs and rescue animals). Her favorites included hymns, bluegrass, country-western music, and she frequented dance nights in the community. The 25th wedding anniversary party for her and Don, along with her 75th birthday party her children organized, was a wonderful celebration she long treasured. Lois and Don enjoyed traveling to Florida, Texas, and Minnesota.
Although we will miss Lois’ devoted love and care, we find comfort in our many beautiful memories. We honor her legacy of generosity and unwavering support as we gather around the table to share a meal, enjoy a bowl of ice cream, and give of our talents in service of others. We celebrate the many ways Lois gifted us, to keep her spirit alive, by inspiring others as she inspired us.
Lois Stermer of Scotts, age 86, died on July 21, 2023. Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; and son-in-law, Chuck. Surviving are her children: Linda (Rick) Stermer, Ellen Stermer, Susan (Steve) Stermer, Mary (Paul) VanderKley, Donald (Jodi) Stermer, Thomas (Kat) Stermer, Karen Stermer, Jon (Rochelle) Stermer; grandchildren: Emily (Todd) Briles, Alexander VanderKley, Donnie, Joey, Andy, and Robby Stermer, Ian and Olivia (Nicholas) Naas, and Adam and Megan Daniluk; great-grandchildren: Ryan and Taylor Briles; siblings: Florence (Robert) Glidden, Royal (Gene) Ranger; many nieces and nephews.
A Life Story Visitation will be held Sunday, July 30 from 3 - 5 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900, with a Rosary to take place at 5 PM. Mass will be held Monday, July 31 at 11 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 936 Lake Street, Kalamazoo. A luncheon will follow at church. Burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Visit Lois' webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of South-Central Michigan-Battle Creek location, St. Jude Children's Hospital, or St. Joseph Catholic Church of Kalamazoo.