This tribute is being written in the comfort of Lois’s art room, surrounded by photos and drawers full of sketches. The walls throughout the house are adorned with her watercolors: old barns, family homesteads, brilliantly colored bouquets of flowers, and tranquil lakes. Her paintings bring beauty to this hillside home outside of Sedalia, Colorado.
Lois lived with dementia for many years. Compression fractures in her spine made daily activities painful. After surgery for a fractured hip, with hospice and family support, the decision was made to bring Lois home. Lois’s family gathered and surrounded her with love and care. With one final exhalation her spirit and soul were released on March 7, 2023.
She was born, Lois Jane Kelley on April 21, 1934, in a one room cabin behind the Kelley Station on Route 66 in Miller, Missouri where her father worked. Her family moved often to many states, landing in Grand Junction, Colorado. Her father built and restored homes in the city which meant she attended many different schools. Lois spoke often of her mother Nina’s strength and endurance. She spoke affectionately of her father Earl who was a builder, poet, and banjo player. She remembered with great sadness when her big brother, Don, left for the Navy after high school. This is indicative of the love she had for him.
Lois graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1952 and took a job with Mountain Bell as a telephone operator, where she made lifelong friends. She moved into an upstairs apartment and walked to work. She spoke often about how she walked every inch of Grand Junction.
Lois met Burt Allerton when he came from Kansas to Palisade, Colorado to pick peaches. After a blind date in August 1954, she moved back to Kansas with him, and they were married six weeks later. Lois was able to put her creativity to use drawing maps for the United States Geological Survey on The University of Kansas campus. All told, Burt had picked a perfect peach!
Following Burt’s graduation and two years in Wichita, where Steve and David were born, the family settled in Denver and Susan graced the family.
Lois was the consummate caregiver. She volunteered at Ft. Logan Mental Health Center working with the children living there. She tutored and supported student learning with children from Johnson, Doull, and Bear Creek Elementary Schools - all while teaching her own children to be caring, kind, and compassionate.
Lois’s faith was strong. As a long-time member of Brentwood United Methodist Church, she participated in bell choirs, drum circles, Bible studies and volunteer activities.
Lois’s hands were rarely idle. She was a skilled watercolor artist and musician; created hundreds of posters to announce important events for her family and church; and was a prolific knitter. She knitted untold numbers of dishrags for her family as well as baby hats and blankets which she donated to Littleton Hospital. Even as her memory waned, Lois made sure that everyone around her was cared for, safe, and well-fed!
The love for her husband Burt, children - Steve (Deb), David (Sarah), and Susan (David), her
grandchildren - Kari, Jennifer (Tyler), Ross (Rachel), Kyle (Kathryn), Thomas, Kristin, and Ellen, and her great grandchildren - Gavin, Jax, Raiden, Xander, Iris, Roland, and Brooks was boundless. That love was also shared with her nieces and nephews.
Lois’s life was one of kindness and generosity evidenced by her warm embrace and gentle smile.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday April 22, 2023, at the Indian Creek Ranch Clubhouse 7149 W. Cherokee Drive Sedalia, Colorado 80135 at 1:00PM.
In lieu of flowers donations/gifts may be made to the Gentiva Hospice Foundation.
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Gentiva Hospice Foundation