|Birth: ||Apr. 14, 1917|
|Death: ||Mar. 24, 2013|
Lois was born on a farm east of Viola, Kansas and grew up in Wichita. She graduated from East High School, and attended Wichita State University where she was president of the Delta Omega Sorority her senior year.
In 1941, while still in college, she had the opportunity to enroll in the Civilian Pilot Training program. After earning her bachelor's degree and her private pilot's license, she worked at Boeing's Stearman Plant in Wichita. It was there she heard of the Womens Airforce Service Pilot program that trained women pilots to fly military aircraft.
She applied, succeeded in all the associated tests, and was accepted into training in 1943. She paid her own way to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, one of 95 women pilots who entered class 43-8. Six months later, after a tough training schedule, Lois had earned her silver WASP wings along with 48 of her fellow graduates!
Her official orders sent her to Williams Field in Arizona for duty as an AT-6 engineering test pilot. During her career as a WASP, she flew many aircraft, including the PT-17, PT-19, BT-13, AT-6, UC-78, AT-9 and AT-11. Her dedication and service, together with that of the other WASPs, released hundreds of male Army Air Force pilots for combat duty.
She built a career around aviation-related jobs after the WASP were deactivated in 1944. She taught at flight schools; wrote pilot flight manuals at North American for the AJ-1 and XA25-1 aircraft; worked as a secretary for an aircraft parts service company in Wichita; and eventually, became a technical editor and proposal coordinator for 30 years at Raytheon in Massachusetts.
In 1981, the Women Military Aviators elected her a charter member, and she helped write the original by-laws while networking with the women members of various US military flying branches for many years.
She enjoyed flying her own Cherokee 180 for 20 years. She was very active in the Ninety Nines, the international organization for civilian women pilots, and helped manage the All-Women New England Air Race for several years. She co-piloted in the 1961 Powder Puff Derby from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in 1972 won the All-Women New England Air Race.
Lois met her husband, Charles, in college and, after the war, they made their home in Acton, Massachusetts until he retired. In 1982, they moved to Anacortes, Washington, celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary before he died.
Lois then spent her time fostering cats, and serving as the volunteer treasurer at her church's thrift shop and women's group. She remained active in the local community club as well as playing a few rounds of golf. However, she referred to attending the WASP and WMA reunions as, "the highlight of my year."
In 2010, the US Congress awarded Lois and her sister WASP the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor that body can bestow, for their service as pilots during World War II.
She passed away peacefully following a fall at her home. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother. She is survived by a brother-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. Evergreen Funeral Home in Everett, Washington held a memorial service on April 20, 2013, and the family asked that donations be made to your local animal shelter in lieu of flowers. By Nancy Parrish.
Maintained by: PerseidsGirl
Originally Created by: Peggy Frost
Record added: Apr 07, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107950281