Lois Darlene Strother Davis
Lois Darlene Strother Davis died Jan. 2, 2021, following a courageous 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Born to humble beginnings on July 8, 1931, on a farm outside Martelle, Iowa, Lois was the youngest of four, and the only daughter of Glenn Erwin and Doris Essalee (Armstrong) Strother.
Lois attended Martelle School, graduating in 1948, dreaming of a life that would encompass music. This ambition steered her to Coe College to study the Performing Arts.
In 1949, Lois married John 'Hank' Harley Davis Jr. They settled into farm life north of Mount Vernon and three children resulted from the marriage: Ann, Louisville, Ky., Jay (Christine), Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Kate Bair, Morrison, Ill. Lois and Hank later divorced.
Lois tended to her family's needs as the kids grew up, as well as cultivating her own involvement in philanthropic organizations. Her enthusiasm of the arts was reflected in her support of Orchestra Iowa and Theatre Cedar Rapids, as well as performing with a local professional choir, the Cantata Singers, for numerous years.
Memberships included PEO-Chapter IH, Beethoven Club, Cedar Rapids Symphony Guild and Alpha Xi Delta Sorority Alumnae, where she proudly served as president of each of these organizations.
Her faith and dedication to Christ Episcopal Church was boundless, functioning on various boards through the years and serving as Senior Warden of the Vestry. A 60-year choir veteran, she also directed the children's choir for several years.
What started as a music volunteer project at Tanager Place (a non-profit residential mental health treatment facility for children) eventually evolved into a 20-year career in music therapy. A program that started literally from nothing and transformed into the mainstream curriculum, all under Lois' diligence.
Involvement in the Strother Society was piqued by her sister-in-law's interest in genealogy and in the 1980s, attended the first (present day) Strother Reunion in Fredericksburg, Va. Lois worked her way through the ranks, ultimately becoming president of the Strother Society.
Lois loved to travel and was able to visit many wonderful destinations. Family vacations, always in August when the farm work lulled before harvest, were usually focused on visiting out-of-state relatives, historical or educational venues and never included Disney Land or Disney World! Although Lois was privileged to visit Epcot Center with her beloved Mother, Doris.
Later came trips to Europe, Russia and the Holy Lands. Particular favorites included her church choir touring and performing at Cathedrals in the UK and a rare genealogy trek to the UK for a Strother Conference.
Retirement found Lois residing at Cottage Grove Place, after leaving her cherished Mt. Vernon farm home of 66 years. She enjoyed being close to her friends, church, and access to the many functions she attended. Other residents delighted, and often times requested, to hear her play her baby grand piano, where she could spend hours getting lost in her love of music from Classical to present-day Pop music. One of her last opportunities had been involvement in a mentoring program at Washington High School where she continued her lifelong love of learning and helping others to learn.
Lois is survived by her three children; grandchildren, Jason (Heather) Davis, Mount Vernon, Elizabeth (Lance) Vedepo, Meridian, Idaho, Alex (Sarah) Davis, Martelle, Maggie Davis, Ames, Iowa, and William Hank Bair (Allie Click), Southgate, Ky.; nine great-grandchildren; and her brother, Richard (Donna) Strother. Also, many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Dale Strother and Louis Strother; ex-husband, Hank; and granddaughter, Jessica Renier.
Lois was a remarkable woman who showed her generosity in so many ways through her infinite contributions to endeavors she was truly passionate about. She felt sincerely blessed by the friendships and experiences she had cultivated through these associations over the years as she continued to enjoy life to the fullest.
Blessings to the angels from Compassus Hospice as they shepherded Lois in her final days.
Arrangements are being handled by Cedar Memorial www.cedarmemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Tanager Place, www.tanagerplace.org; or Christ Episcopal Church, www.christepiscopal.org.
The family will gather in remembrance at a later date.