At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Rest Haven Homes Benevolent Fund
1424 Union NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
City View Church
960 Alpine Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Lois Mae Wilson was a loving wife, devoted mother, caring grandmother and faithful friend. She was a partner in ministry with her husband and a student of the Bible in her own right. Her gifts were numerous and her willingness to share them was boundless. With her hands, she nurtured and cared for family and friends. With her voice, she spoke out her faith, encouraged those around her and delighted them with laughter. With her heart, she listened, prayed and drew others close to God.
Lois Mae was born to Rezen and Adah (Bye) Steed in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 20, 1921. At the time, America was recovering from the First World War and straining to rebuild its economy. By the end of the decade, stock markets fell and countries around the world experienced long years of economic depression. Families were forced to live frugally and rely on what mattered most: faith and family. Sacrifices were made and parents willing did what they could to better the lives of their children. The Steed family moved around west Michigan in search of stability during difficult times, but despite the challenges, Lois experienced a happy childhood with her older siblings John, Mary and Louise, and younger brother Bob. Lois recalled the home on Childsdale Road, playing on the sand porch and her cousins coming over on Sunday afternoons for popcorn. She played games with neighbor kids, and remembered picking strawberry's, tipping outhouses on Halloween, her mother's dill pickles and her mother sewing from second hand clothes. She was firmly grounded in the Christian faith, from her early days at the Methodist Sunday School, to the Baptist church she regularly attended.
When the family moved from the Rockford area to the northeast side of Grand Rapids, Lois attended Creston High School and excelled in oration. She won the Michigan High School Forensic Association Contest in Oratory that allowed her to read her speech on the radio and awarded her a dictionary. She graduated from Creston High School, and worked for a year at Wolverine World Wide to save money to enter Moody Bible Institute. In addition to the educational experience at Moody, Lois met the man who would become her husband, John Wilson. Through the years, her faith continued to grow and she realized her own righteousness was not sufficient to pay for her sins and the Holy Spirit performed the miracle of new birth in her life when she was 29 years old. John 5:24 was the verse that God used to bring her faith.
Lois and John married on October 1, 1944 at his church in Pennsylvania and were blessed with two sons before moving back to her home state. While John attended seminary in Grand Rapids, Lois was busy with their family, which grew to include four more children. John tended to be the disciplinarian, and Lois was the heartbeat of the household. She managed the family budget and knew how to stretch a dollar. She sewed, knitted, gardened, canned, cooked and baked delicious treats. She specialized in pies and decorated cakes, making a family favorite for her children’s birthdays: maple nut cake. To help make ends meet, she sold loaves of her home-baked bread and included a card with a Bible verse—just one way she let others know how much she loved the Scriptures and the story of God’s love.
Lois lived her life as an example of faith and commitment. Her spiritual fervor increased as she shared her life with John, and through the years she reached out to neighbors and friends with the joy she experienced in knowing Christ. She spent time with extended family and welcomed her aging mother-in-law into the family home, caring for her with deep affection. Concerned for justice, she volunteered for Right to Life of Michigan. With her children, she fostered a passion for learning which began when she read to them regularly. She encouraged her daughters in music and presented them with opportunities that were only possible because of the sacrifices she made.
When the children were older, Lois and John could turn their attention to entertaining others in their home. Lois became a wonderful host to visitors of the church and of the school where John taught. She became an Avon distributor and was quite successful as well. She furthered her education by taking several college classes studying Shakespeare and other classics and did very well. Lois and John also took time for themselves by traveling to Israel and Europe. For a period of approximately five years, Lois and John lived in Canada when he taught at a seminary, and although they were away from family, she enjoyed the time and made friends quickly.
Ever busy, Lois added to her craft skills by quilting, refinishing furniture and giving away knitted mittens, afghans and baby clothes for her grandchildren. Over the years, she wasn't always able to see grandchildren a lot, but she was quick to ask about them, wanted to know how they were doing and encouraged them in whatever they were pursuing. She rarely missed sending a card on a birthday and always had a peck kiss for the grandkids. Some of her granddaughters took an interest in learning to bake Grandma’s famous Welch cookies, and Lois was eager to teach them. The grandchildren knew she loved them because she told them so, and her constant prayers for them didn’t go unnoticed.
Through the years, Lois and John attended several churches, believing that it was critical for them to be invested in a church in their neighborhood. Most recently, they supported City View Church, where Lois worked in the nursery and helped with the book table. She also befriended, counselled and encouraged several women in their walk of faith. An avid reader all her life, Lois focused mainly on reading the Bible toward the end of her life. Its abiding truths were sheer joy and comfort to Lois, who loved the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength.
Lois M. Wilson, age 95 of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 10, 2016. She was preceded in death by her son and daughter-in-law Luke and Bertha Wilson; and 2 infant grandchildren, Joshua Wilson and Alexander Green. Lois is survived by her husband of 71 years, John; children Stephen & Marcia Wilson, Philip Wilson & Beth Straebel, Aaron & Trang Wilson, Rachel & Keith Post, Ruth & Martin Green; 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Lois' life will be held on Saturday, April 16 at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE where friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 7-9 PM and on Saturday from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either Rest Haven Homes Benevolent Fund or City View Church are appreciated. To read more about Lois, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com.