Ada “Lois” Jorgensen, age 100, of the town of Maine passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at Benedictine Living Community where she had resided the last month.
Lois was born on April 26, 1920 to the late Hugo and Sylvia (Gehrke) Nass. She graduated from Wausau High School in 1939 and went on to graduate from Marathon County Normal School in 1941 with a degree in teaching. She taught for 7 years, first at one room schoolhouses in the Town of Wein and Town of Maine and then taught kindergarten for 2 years at Rothschild Elementary. On June 9, 1951 Lois married John Jorgensen Jr. Together they had three children; Denise, John, and Carla. While staying at home and raising their children, Lois worked from home 20 years for Green Bay Packaging assembling partitions (the cardboard divider that fits inside a cardboard box). John, who also worked for Green Bay Packaging would transport the partitions. Lois was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Wausau. She was the past President of Marathon County Extension Homemakers and a member of Maine Busy Bees Homemakers Club. She was also a 4-H leader, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group leader and Cub Scout leader.
Lois grew up on the farm that is now the Van Der Geest Dairy Farm in the Town of Maine and then moved one mile away when she got married, this is where she lived her entire adult life.
Lois loved cooking, baking and trying new recipes; she had a notebook that documented all of the special menus for family dinners. She and John had a large garden in the summer and canned and froze many vegetables. Lois loved to entertain and always set a beautiful table, she had several sets of dishes and coordinating tablecloths and napkins. Food presentation was very important to her, she always said “you eat with your eyes first”. There was always a sprig of parsley adorning the bowl of potatoes or meat platter. Lucky guests were always treated to a delicious meal, made with love. She coordinated holiday progressive dinners with the neighbors for many years and had a family brunch on New Year’s Day.
Lois loved to travel and they visited John’s family in Hay Springs, NE every year. She planned a different route every time so they could see or do something different. In 1967, she planned a camping trip to Montreal for the World’s Fair Expo 67. She also loved to just go for a ride in the car, covering backroads all over the county.
As “empty nesters” they rented rooms to North Central Technical College students for several years. She was like their second “Mom” while they were away from home going to school. Lois had kept in touch with several of her “boys” all these years.
When John retired, they made dinners for “Wonderful Wednesday” at Wesley United Methodist Church. They planned, bought and prepared all these meals for several years. Lois regularly baked cookies for coffee hour after church.
Lois was well known for baking wonderful Cinnamon Rolls and gifted many families with these over the years.
For the last 15 years, she had met with a group of friends once a month for “Ladies Clutch”. They would meet at each other’s homes for coffee, dessert and conversation. She treasured these friendships and the time they spent together each month. Bad roads would be the only reason they would cancel.
Lois was an avid reader of the daily newspaper, magazines and her Bible. She was a life long learner and stayed interested in current affairs and life in general. Her memory for remembering people, events and details from the past was incredible. She always had time for others and was a great listener. Lois wrote a book about her life growing up, permanently preserving memories for friends and family; documenting was important to her. Lois had an artistic ability that was apparent; she enjoyed decorating her home and coloring with colored pencils. Earlier in life she had done several scenery oil paintings. The Marathon County Historical Society had interviewed Lois for several of their exhibits over the years, there are many photos of the farm and an interview transcript in the current Farm Exhibit.
Lois will be missed by many, including her son John (Holly) Jorgensen of Weston; two daughters Denise “Denni” (Jeff) Radloff of Merrill and Carla Boechler of Shorewood; seven grandchildren Travis (Brittney), Austin (Rachel), Paul (Kayla), Sarah, Jamus, and Gregor Boechler, Marcus (Amy) Radloff; and three great-grandchildren Dorit, June and Meadow Boechler. Lois will especially be missed by her dear friend Elvira Saeger.
She was preceded in death by her husband John Jorgensen, her parents and brother Donald “Buster” Nass.
Both Lois and John’s ashes will be buried in a private family ceremony on June 9th at the Berlin Cemetery. This is the day that would have been their 69th wedding anniversary.
Due to current Covid restrictions, a memorial service will be held on a different date.
Memorials may be directed to Wesley United Methodist Church in Wausau.
A special thank you to her in-home caregivers, Kris Mohr and Barb Nass; and Dan Smet who took care of her lawn. The family is forever grateful for their friendship and kind and caring service.