Lois Williams

Obituary of Lois Virginia Williams

Lois Virginia Williams was born April 12, 1929 in Castleford, Idaho, one of six daughters and one son of Steven and Hazel Brabb. A preemie, her incubator was a shoe box in a dresser drawer by the wood stove. She grew up in Castleford. Her dad worked as a mail carrier and built houses designed by her mom.

Named for several aunts and great aunts, she did not go by Lois for long. Everyone knew her as Virginia most of her life, or Grandma Ginny.

After graduating high school (a very small class) she traveled to McMinnville, Oregon to attend Linfield College, but money was tight and after two years her family could no longer afford her tuition. She moved home, but soon joined several other local girls who moved to Santa Monica, California to work. They shared an apartment and worked clerical and like jobs. The other girls dated Sailors stationed at nearby Port Hueneme. These sailors, being without cars, convinced another sailor to drive them to visit Virginia’s friends. That’s how Virginia met Joe, a young veteran of Okinawa in WWII, who had been called back due to the Korean War. They dated, including chicken dinners at Knott’s Berry Farm, then an actual farm a long way from Santa Monica through the orange groves. The Navy discharged Joe again, he proposed, and they were married June 1, 1951 in Castleford.

The couple moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where Virginia worked as clerical staff for a fertilizer company. Their first son was born in 1955 there, followed two years later – to the day – by their second. In 1962 the family moved to Eugene, where Joe worked at the cannery for a short time, then was hired by Weyerhauser. Virginia became long-time secretary to a professor in the School of Education at the University of Oregon.

Virginia adored Joe, immersing herself in his history and lifestyle. They camped, hunted, and fished in the Cascades and central Oregon, and took pickup camper vacations to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, along with annual visits to the Buhl/Filer/Twin Falls area of Idaho to visit Virginia’s folks and siblings.

When Joe retired medically following a recurrent back injury and their nest emptied as the boys flew, they traveled to 49 of the 50 states, and took a couple of Caribbean cruises with siblings.

When age began to limit their abilities, they moved to Bayberry Commons where they finished their lifes’ journeys. Joe passed in 2016. Virginia carried on alone, but after a fall and the onset of dementia, passed peacefully March 29, 2023 at home.

Virginia was a Christian all her life, in belief and practice. She led Joe to Jesus early in their relationship. They raised their sons to believe and follow God, and set a consistent example throughout their lives. Better parents would be hard to find.

Virginia loved to knit and crochet, crocheting afghans for her kids and grandkids. She was famous (or notorious) for her annual Christmas gifting of crocheted dishcloths for family, friends, and caregivers. She was prolific with them, to say the least.

Virginia was a gentle, kind soul, a faithful wife, and a loving mother. It is a relief and a blessing that she has left her worn-out body behind, shaken off the bonds of memory loss, and joined Joe and Jesus and Father God.

She is survived by son Kelvin (Debbie), Dean (Nancy), seven grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. We miss her, but know that she is, “…dancing in the wind, with her true love again, back where her heart has always been.”

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