Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Lola Bashaw

September 2, 1931 - January 14, 2022
Portage, MI


Life Story Visitation

Thursday, January 20, 2022
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food, Drinks and Stories will be shared.

There will be a Rosary at 7 pm.

Driving Directions

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, January 21, 2022
11:00 AM EST
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 West Centre
Portage, MI 49024
Web Site


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.

14100 Crawford Street
Boys Town, NE 68010
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Lola Bashaw was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. A caring nurturer, she cherished her years as a mother and was delighted with the arrival of her grandchildren. She leaves behind a rich legacy of accepting all people with compassion. Her warm personality, genuine friendship, and loving ways will be deeply cherished by all who knew and loved her.

1931 saw crippling effects on the nation’s economy. Car manufacturers went out of business as people did not have the funds to purchase them. The severe drought that hit the Midwest caused food to be scarce and turned some areas into dust bowls. The good news of that year was that the famous mobster, Al Capone was convicted of tax fraud sending him to Alcatraz, a small community in Las Vegas legalized gambling, and the Empire State Building in New York was successfully completed. Ezra and Laura (Brandall) Fleming were also thrilled with the arrival of their sweet, Lola on September 2, 1931, in Flint, Michigan. Her birth was a shining moment during tough economic times. Sadly Lola’s father passed away when she was a small child and her mother later married the man she called Dad, Stan Chubinski.

Much of Lola’s growing years were in Battle Creek. She and her sister, Barbara were especially close. With the exception of her fond memories of riding horses on her Uncle Jim’s farm, her childhood was typical of those struggling through the hardships of the Great Depression. Despite growing up poor, Lola overcame the odds when it came to her studies. Studious and driven, she graduated as the valedictorian of her 1949 class from St. Phillip High School. With a strong desire to help others, Lola enrolled in nursing school and received her diploma from Nazareth College. Her commitment and dedication to her patients over her twenty five year career in the field was inspiring. She kept close friendships with her fellow nursing students throughout her entire life. Knowledgeable and trustworthy, her extended family would call her whenever something was wrong to seek her medical advice. Lola had a special knack for caring for geriatric patients. She knew their temperaments and loved to listen to their stories. Countless patients were touched by her kindness.

Not to be forgotten was the meeting of Lewis William Bashaw. He came into her life at just the right time and romantically proposed. On July 26, 1958, they joined in marriage. Together they raised three wonderful children; Ann, Paul, and Leslie. They gave them a strong foundation of faith and cared for them in a loving home. As a mother, Lola wanted the best for her children. She started working the third shift so that she could be there during the day. She and Lewis moved from the area to New Jersey and later lived in Massachusetts. Lola was firm on her stand that schoolwork and studies always came before any television and her children always knew where she stood on her expectations. She and Lewis were good partners when it came to discipline and managing them throughout their growing years. They also modeled for their children a strong and committed marriage. As a family, they always made time for vacations. Most of their trips meant long road trips touring the interesting sights and landmarks all over the United States. In 1978, the family moved back to Michigan so they could be closer to their parents and extended family. In addition to her faith, she always put her kids and her family first.

Lola held many special interests throughout her life. When it came to sports, she enjoyed their years out east cheering on the New England Patriots. Back home she followed the Detroit Tigers baseball and was a huge fan of Lou Holtz and his Notre Dame football team. She and Lewis enjoyed attending the Western Michigan University Women’s basketball games for many years. They also liked to travel and during their lifetime they were lucky to visit London, France, Australia, and her personal favorite, Italy. They also traveled extensively throughout the United States visiting many states and National Parks. When it came to volunteering, Lola mostly spent her time at the Portage Community Outreach Center as well as the senior center and was known to bake her special brownies for funeral luncheons at her church. She loved to read and often chose mystery novels. Lola enjoyed all of the television crime shows and also liked to watch the popular reality series, The Amazing Race. Throughout her life, she was always fond of dogs and her favorite companions were her dogs, Ginger, Radar, and Max.

Above all else, however, Lola was most content any time she was surrounded by her loved ones. She loved staying active by attending many of the special activities of her grandchildren. Nothing brought her greater joy than sharing in their many successes over the years. Holidays were her favorite times of the year. Lola enjoyed hosting her family and spending time with them. Some of the traditions that were passed on to her children were getting an orange and walnuts in their stockings! A loving, generous, and gentle soul, Lola gave her love unconditionally. She modeled a lifetime of sharing her Christian values and treating everyone with grace and kindness. May the memories she shared stay forever in the hearts of her loved ones and may they find great comfort in knowing they were loved beyond measure.

Lola Bashaw, a longtime resident of the area died on Friday, January 14, 2022. She was an active member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church for many years and will be remembered for her generosity. Members of her family include her 3 children: Ann (Tom Salamun) Bashaw, Paul (Robin) Bashaw, Leslie Gower; 3 grandchildren: Austin Bashaw, Lauren Bashaw, Charlie Gower, a brother Stan (Cheryl) Chubinski, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lewis, and her sister, Barbara Warren. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Thursday (Jan 20) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Friday (Jan 21) at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1150 West Center Visit Lola’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Boystown.