It is with deep sadness we announce the sudden passing of our cherished Lois Doreen Mollard on Friday, July 24/2020 in Armstrong, BC, at the age of 88.
Lois filled our lives with joy and is profoundly mourned by her two sons Jeff and Cam, her daughter-in-law Tara, and her grandchildren, Christopher and Lyla. Lois was predeceased by her loving husband Roy, her grandson Holden, and many dear family members and friends.
Lois was born in 1932 in Purves, Manitoba to Myrtle and Ralph Sturtevant. She was the youngest child of a large and boisterous farming family. The Sturtevants worked incredibly hard and this is where Lois learned the formidable work ethic that remained a steadfast part of her character. Lois’ bright, kind and vibrant nature was ever-present until the very end of her life.
After completing teacher’s college, Lois married the handsome and charming Alfred Roy Mollard in Stonewall, Manitoba in 1956, and they settled in Portage. The following year they were blessed with the arrival of their first son Jeff, and then Cam, ten years later. Shortly after Cam was born the family moved to Thompson, Manitoba where Roy had secured a good job with Inco. Lois returned to teaching and enjoyed a long an engaged career at several schools in the Mystery Lake School Division. She taught many different grades, including a gifted program, but it was teaching kindergarten that captured her heart. As a teacher Lois put in substantial hours making sure her students always had the most exciting learning opportunities and projects. She was frequently saluted as the favourite teacher of many of her former students.
The Mollards embraced life in the North gathering many dearly loved friends. Parties where the laughter and stories could be heard late into the night. Lois and Roy were active in their community with golfing, curling, and the boys’ sports including many road trips for hockey games and tournaments. If there was volunteer work that needed to be done Lois could be counted on to generously volunteer her time and skills.
In 1992, after their retirement Lois and Roy moved to BC to be closer to their sons. Armstrong reminded them of their hometown of Stonewall, MB, another vibrant farming community and Lois relished the open, blue, sunny skies of the Okanagan. The Mollards cultivated another large, warm circle of close friends, becoming common fixtures at the golf and curling clubs where of course Lois always volunteered her time on organizing and decorating committees.
In Armstrong Lois also bloomed as a highly adept artist. Never content to sit idle, Lois continued to learn and challenge herself with new techniques and mediums, again spending countless hours at her art table working on projects for herself and others. Her drawing and painting skill evolved and Lois won many ribbons at the Armstrong IPE. She had a large box full of winning ribbons tucked away in her art room. She was an active and engaged member of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery, supporting other artists through her enthusiasm, keen eye and dedication.
In July 2011, Lois suffered the loss of Roy, her beloved husband of 55 years. Though she was heartbroken Lois continued to live fully — active with senior ladies golf and curling. She also had the opportunity to travel which brought her great happiness. Lois was thrilled to fly to Europe three times: once to join her son Cam’s family in France and Italy, once with a group from the Armstrong Sister City Committee to Rathfriland in Northern Ireland (the birthplace of Catherine Schubert, the first European woman to enter BC by trekking across the prairies and over the Rocky Mountains with three small children), and once to Germany to watch her great-nephew Jess speedskate for Canada. She was elated with all of these exciting travel opportunities and took many photos which she was proud to show off at a moment’s notice.
Lois was a loyal, dynamic and feisty woman who laughed often and never shied away from a good debate, especially after a few glasses of wine. If Lois felt something was unfair or wrong she could not sit by and let it go unnoticed. She cared deeply and loved openly. Her huge smile and vibrant energy will me missed by her many dear friends, near and far and the innumerable relatives in Manitoba and beyond she worked hard to maintain contact with.
Lois engaged fully all aspects of her life but it was her immediate family that gave her the most pleasure. She cherished her two sons Jeff and Cam, loving nothing more than to sit for hours at the kitchen table talking with them over one (or several) glasses of wine. She adored and was always proud of her three grandchildren Christopher, Holden and Lyla.
As Lois was loved and admired by so many, a celebration of her extraordinary life will be held at a later date when gathering in person is again possible.
In lieu of flowers, donations to her beloved Armstrong Art Gallery are gratefully appreciated. Please send cheques “In Memory of Lois Mollard” to: The Armstrong Spallumcheen Art Gallery and Museum. Box 308, Armstrong BC, VOE 1B0