OBITUARY: Lois Virginia Warders

Lois Warders

Lois Virginia Warders, 92, passed away on May 22, 2024. She died peacefully at home with her family around her. Mom was born in Concordia, Kansas, on Oct. 14, 1931. She graduated from Concordia High School and got her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas. This is where the romance began.

It was love at first sight when Tom Warders saw Lois in the library at Kansas Wesleyan. Tom says, “I knew the first time I saw her, she was the one.” Tom hoped she would feel the same way. And she did. One year later, they were married at the United Methodist Church in Lois’s home town, Concordia, Kansas. During their courtship, Tom worked on the railroad while Lois taught first graders in Topeka, Kansas. Tom wrote short love notes to Lois on boxes addressed to Bertrand Office Supply, the store Lois’s dad owned and where she worked that first summer.

After honeymooning in Estes Park, Colorado, Tom and Lois moved to Denver, Colorado, where Tom got his masters’ degree in social work. While there, Tom and Lois started their family, and two of their children, Lori and Tommy, were born there. Lois always told the story that she didn’t know anything about babies when Lori came along, but we know she was a natural. Her career became full time mom and homemaker.

Tom finished graduate school, and they moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, for his new job. There, Kathy was born, and after three years, they moved back to Kansas to be closer to family. Good thing, as baby No. 4 came along, Davey B, and their family was complete. After a few years in Wichita, they searched for a good place to raise their family and decided on Hesston, which would be their home for the next 25 years.

Lois stayed home with the kids until David entered school, then she worked as a teacher’s aide for many years. She enriched the lives of many children, especially her own. She was very active at the Hesston United Methodist Church in many different roles, including piano and organ accompaniment and singing in the choir. She was active with ladies’ groups and Bible study as well, and visiting residents at The Villa, the local nursing home. Throughout her life, family time was paramount, and the family went on many vacations. She also enjoyed doing crafts and playing bunco and bridge, but Scrabble was her favorite! Tom and Lois also had many lifelong friends they gathered along the way that they enjoyed spending time with.

In 1996, Tom retired, and they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. The family spent lots of time in their cabin, affectionately called “Leadvilla” in Leadville, Colorado. The cabin was a gathering place for skiing, hiking, holiday celebrations and simply spending time together. The cabin, though small, had room for many—the record was 17. Lois loved to sit by the fire and watch the snow fall and always said, even near the end of her life, what a “good place” the cabin was. They also took many trips with Dad’s brother and sister, Don and Janice, who Mom was especially close to.

Lois is survived by her husband, Tom (95); children and their spouses, Lori and Frank Anderson, Tom Warders, Kathy and Marvin Lein, David and Melissa Warders; their seven grand children and spouses, Taylore and Emilea, Trinity, Tommy C., TJ, Rachel, Ben, and Joe; and one great grandchild, Aiden.

Lois (Mom) was the best wife, mom, and grandma, and she will be forever remembered for her unending, enveloping love and her beautiful smile. Mom, “Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.” (author unknown)

Miss you already, but we know you are safely in Heaven and being loved on.

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