Lois Oswalt, age 86, passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. She was born Lois Copland on November 27, 1930 to Albert and Grace Copland (Garries) in Mission City, BC. She grew up on her parents' chicken farm and spent her days climbing trees, playing with her cousins and feeding her pet piglet. She was surrounded by her hardworking parents, her younger siblings, Robert and Nona, and her extended family.
Her family moved to Bellingham the day before she turned 16. She ended up in mostly classes she had already taken so had an easy class load that year. This enabled her to enjoy being the new girl in town and get settled into her new life. Her family quickly got involved in the First Baptist Church where she made many friends. She was grateful for her church community for many reasons, but never more so than when she met her future husband, Robert Oswalt, on a church retreat at Deception Pass. They married in 1950.
Lois attended Western Washington University and worked at the soda counter at the Leopold Hotel. She graduated in 1954 with a B.A. in education and worked as a teacher until their first child was born in 1955. She happily stayed home to raise their daughter Susan, who was followed 3 years later by their son Jess.
In 1972, she started working in accounting at The Opportunity Council, a non-profit community action agency, where she eventually became the Director of Finance. She retired in 1995 but didn't stay away for long. She was soon called back to work and served as a bookkeeper for the Whatcom Volunteer Center until she was 82 years old.
She took care of others in every project, job, and relationship she was a part of. She was a caregiver for her mother, her father-in-law, and later her husband. She was active in the Democratic Party and enjoyed playing cards with the OWLs (Older Women's League). She loved taking her dog Chili for walks, talking with her grandchildren whenever possible, and staying active in her loving church community.
Lois will be missed by many. She had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Her life was dedicated to those she loved, but she was also quite independent. She was eternally proud of her grandchildren and took great pleasure in spending time together and celebrating their triumphs with them. She also made the world's greatest scrambled eggs and shortbread cookies.
She was grateful to be a loving member of the Bellingham community for most of her life. Her friends were always there for lunch dates, phone chats, and lifelong support. She loved her friends and family with a loyalty that was rare and memorable. Lois is survived by her sister Nona Inman and her grandchildren Daniel Oswalt, Melissa McKenzie, Corinne Cosentino, Stephen Cosentino, and Tyler Cosentino.
A memorial service will be held at the First Christian Church at 495 E Bakerview on Monday December 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Opportunity Council, 1111 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225.