Lois Joyce (Schurmann) Barlow Cox Query, died peacefully at home on Jan. 16, 2014, in the company of family and friends.
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Lois was born Feb. 22, 1931, in Hartford, the daughter of the late George and Edna (Meyers) Schurmann. Fourth in a family of daughters, Lois treasured her sisters and remained close to them all her life, creating a weekly sister's day and annual trip. Lois graduated Buckley High School in Hartford in 1948, followed by receiving a degree in nursing from Hartford Hospital School of Nursing in 1952. Lois taught home nursing and disaster nursing for the American Red Cross. She also managed and organized shelters for the American Red Cross during natural and man-made disasters. Lois was a longtime member of the Hartford School of Nursing Alumni Association. Additionally, she was the first woman on the Board of Directors of People's Savings Bank. Lois married Malcolm W. Barlow in 1953 and acquired from him her enthusiasm for travel and cars, especially racing. She became co-owner of Barlow Motor Sales until 1990, then co-owner of Tolland Auto Sales until 1998. Lois and Malcolm were contestants in the Great American Race numerous times, winning "The Spirit of the Event" award. Following the untimely death of Malcolm in 1995, Lois married William Cox in 1996, whom she loved and cared for until cancer took his life. In 2009, she married Paul Query, an adventurer in his own right, who introduced Lois to travel in Africa and India. Cancer claimed Paul all too soon in 2011. Lois loved fiercely and lost valiantly, but never allowed grief to keep her from her love of life or her sense of adventure. Lois became a prized and active member of the United Congregational Church of Tolland in 1952. She quickly put her pioneering, "can do" spirit to work, and served the church in many roles, including moderator, board of trustees, chairwoman of the business committee, appointed to the first deaconate, when women joined men as deacons in the church. She chaired the Women's Fellowship, chaired the 2003 building/church expansion project, and served on the building committee for many years. Though she prided herself in her organizational and smart business skills, Lois also loved nature and had a wonderful sense of humor that blossomed in recent years among her friends in her hiking groups. Lois will be most remembered for her Thursday socials where all were welcome. Out of her love for community, Lois was an Eastern Connecticut Health Network incorporator, also serving on the ECHN Eldercare Board of Trustees, as well as a Woodlake and Visiting Nurse Association Board of Trustees. She also was a member of the VNA Employee Benefits Committee, Tolland Library Association, and a committed member of the Tolland Garden Paths Club, the Tolland Historical Society, and the Town of Tolland Conservation Commission. Restoring and maintaining trails and open space was a great love of Lois'. Ensuring the continuance of this as a final gift is something her community will be forever in her debt.
Lois, you will be lovingly missed by so very many. She leaves behind her sisters, Lucille Strom, Hazel Cooke and husband, Harry; and her brother-in-law, Clarence Schiebel. She will be dearly missed and forever remembered by her 15 nieces and nephews, who fondly referred to her as "Auntie"; her five stepchildren, their families; and many close friends. She was predeceased by her sister, Muriel Schiebel; and her brother-in-law, Donald Strom, who both passed in 2013.
Her fierce love of life imbued each of them with a spirit of adventure and a "can-do" approach to anything their hearts might desire or to whatever they may feel called to accomplish in their lifetimes. Lois left a legacy of strength and vision, service and good works, and a commitment to the community she loved.
Her family will receive friends for calling hours on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ladd-Turkington & Carmon Funeral Home, 551 Talcottville Road (Route 83), Vernon. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, at the United Congregational Church of Tolland, 45 Tolland Green, Tolland. Burial will be private and at the convenience of her family.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her honor to the Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut, 8 Keynote Drive, Vernon, CT 06066.
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, 2014
Ladd-Turkington & Carmon Funeral Home
551 Talcottville Road Vernon, CT 06066