Mom celebrating her 99th birthday
Although we had plans for a big 100th birthday party on Thanksgiving Day, Mom is celebrating early in the arms of the angels. She died peacefully with family at her bedside at 7 PM on Thursday evening, August 30, 2018.
Eunice, along with her four older siblings, was raised by a single mother in the tiny hamlet of Plaza, North Dakota early in the last century. After high school she attended a business school in Fargo then went on to Minneapolis working as a secretary at Jean Lang Dresses. There she made lifelong friends with her co-workers, and, up until they were all well into their eighties, the six “Jean Lang Girls” got together for their annual Christmas party. Eunice is the last survivor of that group. She never let a friend go.
During the war she met a handsome young Army officer, the brother of her fellow worker, Florence, and fell in love. She married Larry Lohse in 1947 and gave up work to raise her two sons, Bruce and Dean, and her daughter Jean Marie. The other mothers in the neighborhood became lifelong friends. At the age of 90, Eunice traveled with her old neighbor, Lois, by train across Canada. She never let a friend go.
When she felt the children were old enough, she returned to work to be certain they could all afford a college education, a special priority for her and Larry. She worked as a secretary for a regional airline, and this afforded her the opportunity to travel throughout the country and the world, which she did, dragging her much more reluctant husband along for the adventure. She still exchanges Christmas cards with her old boss. She never let a friend go.
She retired to Florida in 1986, less for the weather than to be close to her youngest grandchildren, whom she spoiled outrageously at every opportunity. Here she became active in Southside United Methodist Church where she volunteered in the kitchen helping with Wednesday night dinners up until she had to give up driving at the age of 94. Last Christmas, her kitchen co-workers, also now retired and living out of town, got together again for lunch. She never let a friend go.
In 1999, her beloved Larry became severely disabled as a result of Parkinson’s Disease and a stroke. She shouldered the responsibility of primary care giver for the difficult years until his death in 2005. Because she never let a loved one go, either.
She is survived by her three children, her son-in-law, Claude Garvin, her daughter-in-law and best friend, Mary, her grandchildren and their spouses, her great-grandchildren, a cadre of nephews and nieces, and various honorary step-children, all of whom are grateful for her love and wisdom. She never let any of us go.
A memorial service will be held at Southside United Methodist Church, 3120 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday, September 9 at 4PM. Internment and a second memorial service will be at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis on October 15.