Lois Ann (Stone) Anderson was born on April 9, 1934 in Philadelphia.
When she was five weeks old, her father Merle Clinton Stone passed away due to a meningitis infection. Soon thereafter, her mother, Clara Mary (Schultze) Stone (deceased August 1981), and surviving sister, Irene, resettled in her father’s hometown of Saxton, Pennsylvania where they lived with paternal family members through the worst years of the Great Depression.
In 1939, Lois and her family experienced tragedy yet again when her grandfather perished when crushed in a train accident. The sudden and unexpected deaths of two men invaluable in Lois’ life at a young age instilled a lifelong drive in her to minister to those who faced sudden loss of close family members.
As World War II loomed and work returned to the Philadelphia region, Clara Stone moved back to Philadelphia with her two daughters in 1940. The three ladies joined Clara’s mother in her home on Lee Street in the Kensington section of the city. Over the next ten years, Lois enjoyed the loving support of a wide circle of aunts, uncles and members of the nearby Brethren church which she was a member.
As she finished her secondary education in 1953 at the Kensington High School for Girls Lois and with graduation day near and senior prom looming Lois had no date to accompany her. A friend arranged a blind date for her who turned out to be a sailor from the Naval Aviation Supply Depot. Five months later in the parsonage of the Brethren church, her former prom date Tom Anderson of Evanston, Ill. pledged his love and affection to Lois. It was a bond which endured for over 63 years.
Though the ladies of the Brethren Church were counting months, daughter Lois Ann did arrive on the first day of September of 1954 which was well into the tenth month of the new marriage. That was a point Lois made sure to make to “those old bitties” of the Brethern Church as she was showing off her new born daughter. Shortly the delivery Lois bundled her daughter for travel and flew off to Argentia, Newfoundland to join her husband at his Navy duty station.
Naval service took the family to Bainbridge, Md. and then on to Norfolk, Va. It was in Norfolk and the nearby Portsmouth Naval Hospital where Tom Jr arrived the scene on Valentine’s Day of 1960. A couple years later the family moved to the Philippine Island of Luzon and the town of San Miguel and it’s Navy base there. The family then moved back to the U.S. and resided in the Washington, D.C. area. The final tour as a Navy family was spent in the Norfolk area once again.
In August of 1970, Lois was quite happy to end her service as a Navy Wife when her husband retired from active duty. The plan was to move to Arkansas where her husband would go to college and study to become an educator. She was looking forward to a settled life. That plan did not last long.
By 1972, her husband had announced his call to ministry in the United Methodist Church and soon the family was serving together on the Morrilton Parish. When Tom graduated from college in 1975 the family moved to Richwood, Ohio to serve the Central United Methodist Church while seminary work was completed.
During the time in Richwood, in October 1976, Lois Ann married Gary Glass who resided in the community. The wedding events became a impromptu family reunion for both the Anderson and Stone families. As Lois and Tom enjoyed hosting siblings, parents and other relations from their families together all in one setting.
In May 1978, Lois reveled in the celebration of graduation of both her husband and son respectively just days apart from seminary and high school. The trio soon departed Richwood to take on an appointment to the Marshall – Leslie Charge in north central Arkansas. With that move Lois was clearly excited to be part of fulltime ministry in partnership with her husband.
Two years passed quickly and the steps for her husband to reach ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church were completed. Lois was overjoyed to see that step completed and her glee was soon amplified by an unexpected mid-year appointment to the Hoxie – Clover Bend charge. During this time son Tom graduated from college and joined the Navy to follow a family tradition.
Two additional appointments in some half-dozen years landed the family in Manila with a mission to rebuild a fire destroyed church structure and Fisher Street in Jonesboro. The final and longest appointment was to the Clarendon – Holly Grove charge where they served for seven years and realized a deep personal attachment to the land and lifestyle of the Grand Prairie. In June 1992, son Tom married Nancy Lewis of Seattle, Washington.
Full retirement came in June 1996, but retirement did not end the itinerant lifestyle for which Lois (and Tom) had become accustomed. As she transitioned away from parsonage life she leveraged the skills and perspectives in a new direction in the role of a fulltime RV lifestyle and active participation in Good Sam activities in events throughout the mid-South.
Throughout her life Lois enjoyed the artistic outlet of crochet, knitting and cross stitch piece work. In her middle years of life her cross-stitch art products were of professional quality and those who received those tokens have them still as art work to be savored and appreciated.
In her last couple decades of life Lois began collecting angel icons of all varieties which came to adorn her home in many ways from including figurines, needle point and water color prints. She became active in world network called the Angel Club which anonymously expressed encouragement and support to those they recognized who needed to know they were loved.
Lois Ann Stone Anderson is survived by her best friend and soulmate, Thomas E Anderson of Jacksonville; daughter Lois Ann Glass and husband Gary and their children Christopher and Leigh Ann all of Richwood, Ohio; son Thomas E Anderson Jr and wife Nancy of Albuquerque, N.M. and their children Renee Lewis-Andersen of Oppegard, Norway, Aaron Lewis of Renton, Wash. and Victoria Anderson of Oklahoma City. Her sister Irene survives in Chula Vista, Calif. with her daughter Stacy Degraffenreid at her side.
Lois Anderson roots were from a humble and impoverished background which had created a strong desire to improve life circumstances for the less fortunate she did encounter. Her life style and purpose was in-line with the Beatitudes found in the gospel of Matthew 5:3-10 as she endeavored to “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”
In her last two decades of life she counted the many blessings her life journey had delivered to her. In recognition of her bounty, she endeavored to share her talents, gifts and service though active support for the work of Fishnet Missions of Jacksonville and Trinity United Methodist Church in the Rose City neighborhood of North Little Rock.
In keeping with her wishes, memorial donations may be made to the either Fishnet Missions of Jacksonville, Ark., 1700 Swift Drive, PO Box 972, Jacksonville, AR 72078. Or, Trinity United Methodist Church, PO Box 17029, North Little Rock, AR 72117.
Visitation is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 20 at Smith - North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St. and funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 21 and also at the funeral home.