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Lois Cockerill

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Lois Cockerill Obituary

Lois Jeanne (Reynolds) Cockerill passed away on September 13, 2016, surrounded in her last days by her family and loved ones.

Lois was born with her feisty howl on Friday, July 13, 1923. She said it was an omen to be born on Friday the 13th and was suspicious on the days her birthday fell on a Friday. She hated full moons and neighborhood children even worried that she was a werewolf at times.

She was born and grew up in Sacramento where her often-exasperated parents (Frank and Mabel, both deceased) humored her love of toads and small creatures and her younger brother (Bob, deceased) teased her into a wicked sense of humor. It was her larger than life presence on the first day of McClatchy High School that caught the eye of Daren, her late husband of over 60 years and her destiny was set; on the same day she met Kay, who would be her lifelong best friend. Kay passed away early this year also, and Lois said that Kay took her memories and secrets with her. Lois and Daren kept their childhood friends close for a lifetime, adding many other close friends along the way; Lois kept complicated calendars of birthdays, anniversaries, sad and happy occasions for them all.

Lois was proud of her career as a Registered Nurse, which started when she graduated in 1945 from Samuel Merritt School of Nursing in Oakland, CA. In the beginning she worked nights so that Daren could attend Dental School in San Francisco during the day; over the course of her 55 year career she worked in hospitals and medical offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Marysville, Yuba City, Concord and Fair Oaks. She delivered babies, took care of sick and injured, counseled troubled teens dealing with substance abuse and cared for those with psychiatric illnesses. She officially retired at the age of 78, still feeling like it was too soon and there was more to do. But she never quit completely, she volunteered her nursing skills whenever asked and lovingly cared for her husband over the course of his long illness, earning the admiration of many for her devotion to him and adding even more friends and dates to the calendar of her life.

Lois loved to cook and was considered a gourmet by some – but as a depression era woman, she also never threw anything away, and many science projects could have been born in her refrigerator. Instant Tapioca pudding mix from 1961? Yep, she had it in her cupboard, along with a vast collection of Zip-lock bags, new and used, to store all her home cooked goodies. For many years she kept a storeroom she called "Grandma's Grocery Store" and all eight of her grandchildren learned a lifesaving habit to look for bugs in the Macaroni and Cheese and read expiration dates for anything that came from that room.

She also loved the arts, theatre, symphony and opera. She and Daren were members of the "Monday Evening Dancing Club", she golfed, she played Bridge, and she entertained. She was unapologetically a political conservative but in her later years softened in her social views. She was a study in contradictions, accepting everyone as her friend and welcoming all into her home for a meal or to stay awhile, but she also felt the need to share her observations and judgments without filter.

Lois was an individual force to be reckoned with, but boy did she get things done! So, she either volunteered or was asked to participate in a wide variety of community organizations: Founding Board member for Jack and Jill Playschool, Founding Board member Golden Valley Art Center, Served on the Board of Directors for: Children's Home Society, Sutter County Memorial Museum, Marysville Art Center, Yuba City Women's Club, Yuba City P.T.A., Campfire Girls, Yuba City Rotary Inner Wheel, Butte Sierra District Dental Society Auxiliary, League of Women Voters, California Federation of Republican Women. She was a Deacon and volunteer, while a member of Marysville First Presbyterian Church and was one of the first women to serve as an Elder at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Yuba City. Lois served her faith in several areas, starting and joining several small groups in each church along the way.

In later years, Lois could be found humming her favorite hymn while tending her garden; she still had special dwellings for the toads, special plants for the butterflies and she fed hundreds of birds. There were so many spoiled cats and dogs in her life that they must all have been eagerly awaiting her arrival in heaven to receive the special treats she always had for them. Her last dog was just like her, though, so very adorable to look at and cuddle, but you better not cross either of them, they both would bite!

Lois leaves behind three daughters: Karen Fields of Sacramento, Kay Tittle of Yuba City and Kimberley Herman of Yuba City; eight grandchildren and their spouses: Matt Jahn, Heather and Houston Price, Joshua and Heather Jahn, Jessica and David Chang, Andrea and Christopher Stockton, Brian Steele, Emily Fennell, and Heidi Steele; and 10 great-grandchildren: Cjarle, Maddaleine, Natalie, Hannah, Kiera, Jackson, Kiian, McKenna, Kolten and Ava. She leaves behind a nephew, Erik Reynolds, a niece, Marta Eilers and a Goddaughter, Joanne Surwald. She leaves behind countless others that fondly called her "Mom" and "Grandma". Her twinkle and smile will remain in so many hearts forever.

Services to celebrate Lois' life will be held at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Yuba City, CA Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to honor her memory to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church' Mother Hubbard's Cupboard or the Alzheimer's Foundation.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Sept. 25, 2016
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