10171144_10152611220077346_1362366293367521907_nLois, my father’s second wife, died yesterday in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

My dad took this photo on the flight line at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. It was December, 1978, and I was finishing F-15 training, soon to leave for the Netherlands and my first fighter tour. Dad, who had taken the death of my mother two years earlier very hard, had recently met Lois and was coming out of a long depression. He wanted me to meet her before I went overseas, so they drove to Virginia.

Lois was pretty, outgoing, vibrant, and happy (in that, very like my mom). She bowled me over just as she had my dad. And my sisters. And all our in-laws. We all loved her. Who knows what would have happened to my dad if he hadn’t met her? She may have saved  his life. Dad and Lois married shortly after I met her in Virginia and were happy together for 28 years, until he passed in 2007. Now the matriarch of our extended family is gone.

Donna and Lois were especially close, so we’ll both be flying to Missouri as soon as the arrangements are set and we know the date. Gosh, we’re going to miss her.

Later, same day: Sadly, for a variety of reasons Donna and I won’t be able to fly back for Lois’ services. We were in Missouri in October and had a wonderful time with Lois and the rest of my family. It was a happy occasion.

With Lois and my sister Charlie, October 2018

These are among the memories of Lois we console ourselves with. I called my sisters a few hours ago to explain our circumstances and to get the funeral details so we can send flowers. I’m hoping some of my comments above can be shared with those who are able to attend. Lois had said, on more than one occasion, that all she wanted was for those who loved her to donate to a charity in her name, and we will certainly do that.

Once again, gosh, we’re going to miss her. We’ve thought about nothing else all day.

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