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LOIS M. KOHN

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LOIS M. KOHN Obituary
KOHN, LOIS M. July 12, 1924 to January 2, 2010 Lois was a woman of dignity, intelligence, and joie-de-vivre. We love and remember her for simple graces that give life beauty and meaning. Her unmatched greeting would warm your heart; an adoring, open-armed, "Hello, Dear!," her face lit up by her smiling green eyes. Lois was a resident of San Diego for 49 years, 47 of them in La Jolla. She passed away peacefully, at 85 years of age, at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, after a sudden illness. Her children and grandchildren were by her side. Lois was born Lois Mary Adams, to Earl and Clara Adams, in Ottawa, Canada on July 12, 1924, and grew up in Hornepayne, Ontario. Lois was both an honors student and an avid pianist in high school. Following graduation, she pursued one year of piano studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory of Music). There she delighted in meeting students from abroad and developed life-long friendships. Lois retained a passion for international culture, language, and travel throughout her life. In 1943, Lois enrolled at the University of Toronto School of Nursing, where she enjoyed being part of an international student body. Lois helped to arrange evening musicales for the nursing students; these became a loved institution at the nursing school for decades. Lois met her husband-to-be, Walter Kohn, while she was in nursing school and he was a physics student at the University of Toronto. Lois completed her nursing studies in 1946, and moved to the United States. She performed memorable public health service in New York City while Walter, now her fiancé, completed his graduate studies at Harvard University. Lois and Walter married in Boston in 1948. Lois soon changed careers to work full time as a wife and mother. The young family had two magical years in Copenhagen. Lois embraced the Danish culture; she loved the Danes' warmth and charm, their artisanal work, their staunch loyalties, and not least their bravery in saving their Jewish citizens in World War II. Throughout her life, Lois hosted and befriended foreign students and professionals. She enjoyed world travel, and took special pleasure in studying French, which became a life-long interest. Lois was passionate about social justice, believed in quality public education for all children, and advocated for bilingual classes. Lois shared her love of great music by becoming a founding director of the La Jolla Chamber Players (now the La Jolla Music Society) in 1968. Lois devoted tireless efforts to the developing Society, including serving as Summerfest Chair in 1990. Lois received The San Diego Performing Arts League Star Award in 1992; the Music Society named her an Honorary Director in 1998. Lois' Music Society friends responded to her love and knowledge of music and to her personal grace and integrity. For years they were beneficiaries of her delectable brownies! Many knew Lois as an extraordinary baker. Her piece de resistance was a three day project, her Hungarian seven-layer Dobosh Torte. A granddaughter, then age ten, had her first taste of this culinary wonder, and promptly announced, "Granny Lo, this is the cake I want for my wedding!" Lois returned to college as a mature student in the late '70s. She completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at SDSU, followed by a Master of Science Degree at SDSU in 1981. In the years that followed, Lois was an active grandparent who participated in raising her three grandchildren. She assiduously followed each child and grandchild's interests, careers, and achievements. She clipped and mailed news articles on space, music, and social action up through her final weeks. In November of 2009, Lois moved to Los Angeles. She celebrated the advent of Gustavo Dudamel as the L.A. Philharmonic's new musical director with a concert at Disney Hall. Lois attended her grandson's Bar Mitzvah in late November, still in fine form. We are grateful for Lois' rich legacy - her devotion to family and friends, her courage, and her generous, joyful spirit. She was a blessing in our lives, and will be an inspiration always. Lois is survived by her daughters, Marilyn Kohn, Ingrid Kohn Paymar, and Rosalind Dimenstein, granddaughters Ora Miriam Katz and Tova Katz, grandson Shimon Hirsh Dimenstein, sister Maryian Milsom, brothers Robert Adams and Gary Adams, nephews, and nieces. Funeral services were private. Donations may be sent to the La Jolla Music Society, at LJMS.org, or to Cedars Sinai Medical Center at Cedars-Sinai.edu.

Published in U-T San Diego on Jan. 22, 2010
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