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Lois Spaulding Harmsen


1926 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
April 28, 1926 - November 19, 2015 Lois Spaulding Harmsen, 89, passed away peacefully at home on November 19, 2015, in Pasadena, CA. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and children's librarian, Lois was deeply loved by her family and friends. Born in Pasadena, CA, on April 28, 1926 to Walter Virgil Spaulding and Lora Belle Lincoln, Lois grew up in Altadena and attended local schools. She graduated from Pasadena Junior College and went on to earn a BA in English from Pomona College (1947) and a BS in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College in Boston (1949). She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After working as a librarian at Scripps College in Claremont and the San Diego Public Library, Lois married Tyrus George Harmsen in 1955. Ty later became Head Librarian at Occidental College. They settled in Hastings Ranch in 1956 to raise their two children, Mark and Caroline. In 1968, Lois worked with her friends to gather donated books and raise money to establish a library at Don Benito Elementary School. The library continued to grow, and she was hired by the Pasadena Unified School District to be the Library Coordinator, a position she held and loved for nearly two decades. On her retirement, Don Benito named the school library in her honor. In addition, the Upper Hastings Ranch Association named her 1984 Resident of the Year to acknowledge her work, which enabled hundreds of children to develop an appreciation for books and reading. Following her retirement, Lois cherished time with Ty, family, friends and her two grandchildren. She especially treasured spending summers at Snug Harbor, the family home in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod-a tradition that spanned over 80 years. She was also an avid baseball fan, supporting the Dodgers and the Red Sox; she never tired of hearing Vin Scully call a game. Lois's husband of 56 years, Ty Harmsen, preceded her in death in 2012. She is survived by her son, Mark S. Harmsen of Pasadena, CA; her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, Caroline, Jim, Lora, and Muir McManus of Altadena, CA; and other beloved members of the Spaulding, Harmsen, and McManus families. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, December 11, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Lois's memory may be made to the Falmouth Public Library Children's Department, Lois S. Harmsen Memorial Fund, 300 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, 2015
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