Lois Bootzin, former wife of the original Nature Boy and health guru Gypsy Boots, passed away peacefully on February 1st, 2014 in Pasadena, CA, from natural causes. She was 89.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1924, Lois moved to San Francisco around 1950, where she met the long-haired, bearded "nature boy" Gypsy Boots, and began her unusual life with the health icon.
During the 1950's, Lois and Gypsy roamed the length of California, traveling with the Nature Boys, a group of bearded free spirits who lived off the land and espoused raw foods and natural living. As Lois recalled, one of Gypsy's mantras was to eat only "food from the bush, the tree, or the vine".
The couple eventually moved to Hollywood, and in 1959 they opened the "Health Hut", a tiki-themed organic food restaurant - perhaps one of the first in the country. Lois helped fashion their groundbreaking menu of raw and organic foods. On Saturdays they would hold a luau where Lois, a trained dancer, would join Gypsy on stage for wild dance numbers. Lois also helped develop the line of health food products that bore Gypsy's name in the 1960s.
Later in life, Lois returned to acting (which she had studied at the Goodman School in Chicago). She performed in numerous plays in local Los Angeles theatre, as well as appearing in various commercials and television shows.
Although separated from Gypsy Boots in 1980, Lois and Gypsy remained good friends. Lois continued to fill her life with interesting people and activities, doing a great deal of traveling, and remaining interested in music, dance, drama, and the news of the day. She lived a full and adventurous life.
Lois had two beloved sisters who preceded her in passing; Dorothy Bunner in 1984 and Phyllis Mapes in 2004. Lois is survived by sons Alex and Dan Bootzin, daughter-in-law Elizabeth Rivera Bootzin, grandchildren Everett, Heather, and Timur, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Youngest son Freddy passed away in 2001. Nature Boy Gypsy Boots passed away in 2004 at age 89. A memorial service for Lois will be held on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014, at Hollywood Lutheran Church at 2:00 pm. 1733 N. New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Feb. 18, 2014