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Lois Neufeld died peacefully at the Edgewater Hospice facility on September 22, 2019. She was 89 years old.
Lois was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1930 and attended Milwaukee schools through high school when she and her family moved to Emporia, Kansas. There her father James Karocik opened a Globe Union battery plant. This was a significant event for both the family and Emporia as until that time, industrial development in Emporia had been discouraged by William Allen White the legendary editor of the Emporia Gazette. Upon arriving in Emporia, Lois enrolled in the elementary education program at Emporia State University from which she graduated in 1954. While an undergraduate she became a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and was the poster girl for Curli-Q, the University talent show. Marriage and considerable travel followed graduation as she accompanied her husband as he fulfilled his military obligation and pursued graduate studies.
This active period included teaching positions in Elizabethtown, KY, Columbia, MO and Denver, CO. The couple finally settled in Schenectady, NY where Lois taught in the Schenectady Public Schools and Niskayuna Public Schools before ending her career as an administrator at Brown School, a private elementary school.
In addition to her teaching career Lois was involved in community service throughout her adult life. She served as Schenectady Area Chairperson for the United Fund, Crusade Person for the American Lung Association and as a Red Cross volunteer. A cancer survivor herself, she became the American Cancer Society’s county fund drive chairperson, Public Information Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of the County Society. She also served on the Society’s State Board of Directors.
Taking a break from her teaching and community service efforts Lois played tennis while managing the league schedule. She also loved to sail where her only responsibility was to refrain from commenting on her husband’s sailing skills.
The Neufeld’s moved to New Smyrna Beach in 2002 buying a home in Sea Woods. After unpacking the dishes Lois joined the Sea Woods Architectural Review Board and the New Smyrna Beach Garden Club, becoming a member of the Board of Directors. The couple also joined the Smyrna Yacht Club where Lois coordinated the pool exercise program and served on the Scholarship Committee. But few of Lois’ activities over the years provided her with more satisfaction and pleasure than her involvement with the members and programs of the American Association of University Women where she participated as Membership Chair, Hospitality co-chair and Assistant Treasurer. In 2013 she was recognized for her efforts by being designated Woman of the Year. In the presentation of the award it was noted that Lois had gone from her University’s Curli-Q in 1950 to Woman of the Year in 2013. Hers was a long journey of nurturance and compassion. A life well lived.
Lois is survived by her husband of 65 years Dr Joseph Neufeld of New Smyrna Beach, a son Christopher Neufeld of Tokyo, Japan and a sister Mrs Nancy Williams of Emporia, Kansas.
In her work on the Scholarship Committee of AAUW, Lois met many wonderful high school students who wanted to pursue their dreams through college but were blocked by inadequate funds, If you would like to remember Lois please contribute to: AAUW Scholarship Fund c/o Susan Vincent, Treasurer 309 Schooner Avenue Edgewater FL 32141.