Lois Theresa Theisen, 81, of Dubuque, passed away Friday February 6 at Mercy Hospital in Dubuque of leukemia. Private services will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, Iowa. A private bural will follow at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Oyens. Fisch Funeral Home and Monument of Remsen is in charge of arrangements.
Lois was born September 15, 1933, in Le Mars, Iowa, the daughter of John and Anna (Ruden) Theisen. Lois earned a BA in English at Briar Cliff University, an MA at Loyola University, and participated in the University of Iowa Writers Program. She appreciated the 18 years she spent with the Dubuque Franciscans who helped make her the teacher she became. She used her skills throughout 60 years of teaching, including 25 years at Western Dubuque High School in Epworth, where in 1989 she was a finalist for Iowa Teacher of the Year. For the last 10 years Lois taught for the University of Phoenix. She was known to be a tough but fair-minded teacher who set high standards for her students.
She was an active member of the Western Dubuque, Iowa State, and National Education Associations. She was a Friendship Force ambassador to England, and hosted foreign visitors on several occasions. She edited the newsletter for the Dubuque Audubon Society for many years. She loved boating on the Mississippi, and enjoyed spending time with her friends at the Diamond Jo Casino. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain. She maintained a gracious home, where she frequently hostessed gatherings of her fortunate and well-fed friends.
She is survived by her siblings Terry Weiler, of Le Mars, Iowa, Sally (Richard) Henke, of Cherokee, Iowa, Cyril (Helen) Theisen, of Remsen, Iowa, Ivan (Yvonne) Theisen, of Marcus, Iowa, and Rita McCarty, of Spencer, Iowa, two sisters-in-law Joan Cronin, of Marcus, Iowa, and Rita Theisen, of Canby, MN, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her long-time close friends Fr. Robert Levenhagen and Joe Tollari, both of Dubuque.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Elmer and Reynold, and a sister Shirley Gengler, three brothers-in-law Gib Weiler, Dave McCarty, and Sonny Gengler.
Lois wanted to thank all those who remembered her in her illness. A special thank you to Dr. Andrea Ries for her kindness and patience, and to Dr. Eric Engelman and his staff for their care and compassion. Memorials may be made to Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, IA.