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PEORIA – Lois V. Beeler, 88, of Peoria, Illinois, passed away Sunday, January 3, 2021, at Unity Point Health Methodist in Peoria, after suffering with various health challenges throughout her life.
Lois is survived by her husband and high school sweetheart Wally, with whom she celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary Dec. 26, 2020. She is also survived by her son, Rod (Tamara) Beeler of Chicago; daughter, Yvonne (Brian) Folkerts of Alexandria, Virginia; and son, Daryl (Robin) Beeler of Kernersville, North Carolina; six grandchildren, Lauren, Chelsea, Kristen, Ashlyn, Eric, and Calum and three great-grandchildren, Zacary, Olivia, and Gabriella.
She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Hyla (Deffenbaugh) Lamont, two brothers and a sister.
Lois was born July 14, 1932 in LeRoy, Illinois. She attended high school in LeRoy, where in her junior year she met her future husband, Wally Beeler. In high school, Lois was a cheerleader, a vocal soloist, a saxophone player in the high school band and a member of the jazz band, "Kat and her Kittens." Upon graduation, Lois attended Illinois State Normal University, graduating in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. While at ISNU she played in the University band as well. She began teaching high school in Herscher, Illinois and in December 1954 during the school’s winter break, married Wally. Lois taught high school for three years. During this time for a number of years she hosted her own weekly radio show under the surname Elizabeth Elliott, teaching cleaning solutions and taking calls from listeners.
In 1966, the family moved to Charleston, Illinois, where Wally enrolled in Eastern Illinois University as a full-time student. Lois worked full time in the university’s Records Office, becoming the family breadwinner. Upon Wally’s 1969 college graduation, the family moved to Morton, Illinois as Wally started his career with Caterpillar Inc.
In 1977, Lois and Wally moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Wally’s Caterpillar career. Lois dedicated herself to learning the Brazilian culture and gracefully handling the challenges of living in a foreign country, learning a new language, and entertaining friends and family.
They returned to Morton in 1981 and upon Wally’s retirement in 1997, became Florida snowbirds for 20 years spending winters with close friends from the Midwest and the East Coast. In 2017, they moved to the independent living apartments at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria, Illinois.
Music was always an important part of Lois’ life. She enjoyed playing the piano and sang in a variety of church choirs, frequently as a soloist.
In addition to entertaining, cooking and sewing, Lois treasured her volunteer work with the Methodist Service League sewing gifts in the workshop.
She particularly loved being with family and friends. For many years she met annually with a group of high school friends around the country for weekends together to reminisce and stay connected to her friends.
She always supported her children’s activities and was a very proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Some of her greatest joys were having a full house for the holidays with all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Lois will be remembered for her kindness, her thoughtful gestures toward friends, her adventurous spirit, her faith in God, and her devotion to her husband.
A graveside service for immediate family will be conducted Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Hillcrest Memory Gardens in Morton, Illinois.
Memorials may be made to the Morton United Methodist Church Building Fund, 420 North Tennessee Avenue, Morton, Illinois 61550, to Lutheran Hillside Village, 6901 North Galena Road, Peoria Illinois 61614, or to the Illinois chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, https://www.alz.org/illinois.
Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton is handling arrangements.