Lois J. Beland
October 14, 1919 - March 12, 2021
La Mesa, CA
Lois passed away peacefully in her home on March 12, 2021. She was 101 years old.Lois possessed an unrelenting zest for life that took her out dancing every week and traveling around the world every year. Her active lifestyle and loving spirit made her a role model to friends and family, young and old.Lois was a lifelong San Diegan who graduated from San Diego High in the class of 1937. She was raised by Frederick and Edith Thompson, who throughout her youth instilled in her a profound love for music. For decades, she was a harpist. For 25 years, she worked miracles for the students and staff of the SDSU music department. For eternity, she will be remembered as a ballroom dance instructor eager to welcome ANYONE onto the dance floor. In fact, it was in the Mission Bay Ballroom that she first met Claude Beland, a young Naval sailor from Kentucky. They were engaged just before he went to sea. Six months later, on May 18, 1940, they celebrated the first day of their wonderful 54 years of marriage. Together they raised 2 daughters, Patti (Englander) and Janice (Van Dussen Cashman). Throughout her life, Lois visited over 70 countries. She shared her love for traveling with others as a travel agent, founding Mt. Helix Travel after retiring from SDSU. She took a South African Safari in her mid 90's, and was 98 when she last sailed, just 3 years ago. Lois is survived by her companion Tim Thomas, daughters Patti Englander (& Hal Weiss), Jan Cashman (Van Dussen) (& John Page), grandchildren Todd (& Cristina) Van Dussen, Valerie (Van Dussen) (& Rick) Bushree and great- grandchildren, Brian and Austin Bushree, Alyxandra Van Dussen and Ian Winkler. She is also survived by the members of the Elks 1812 Lodge who shared decades of dances alongside her.As Lois moves on to her heavenly home, we remember her strength as a matriarch of our family, her kindness as she sought to see the best in people, and her echoing laugh that revealed her youthful spirit. She has inspired so many to stay young at heart. She truly led by example as she embraced every opportunity to make silly faces with us and demonstrate that romance has no age. We will continue to see her in the reddest of sunsets, and the most lively of dance floors. Thank you for showing us the power of living a love-filled life Grandma. We love you with all of our hearts.Private burial at Greenwood Memorial Park, with Celebration of Life to follow.In lieu of flowers, Lois loved cats big and small. Please donate to your favorite animal rescue center or The San Diego Zoo.
Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Apr. 11, 2021.