EAST LIVERPOOL - Longtime city resident, educator, musician and friend to all, Lois I. Finley Beals passed away early Sunday morning, June 8, 2014 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. She was 86.
Lois, who never lost her sense of adventure, had recently taken a trip with fellow Rotarians and had become ill while traveling.
She was born in Bridgeport, IL on August 21, 1927, a daughter of the late Robert and Bessie Elizabeth Sutherland Finley. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from the University of Illinois in 1948, Lois earned her Masters of Science in Education in 1950 and completed additional graduate work at both Youngstown State and Kent State Universities later in her life.
On September 14, 1952, she married Robert J. "Bob" Beals, and they, along with their family, came to East Liverpool in 1972 when Bob became Director of Research and Development at the Hall China Company. They made their home on Smithfield Street and became involved in nearly every part of the community.
Lois had been a proud and dedicated member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Rebecca Griscom Chapter, since 1976, and had served as Regent and Chaplain of the local chapter. She had been instrumental in consolidating the Wellsville and Lisbon DAR chapters, which became the Southwick Griscom Kinney Chapter, NSDAR in 1995, and had organized and directed the Ohio DAR State Chorus and had also served as the Ohio State DAR pianist from 1991 to 2003.
She began her career in education as a Home Economics teacher in Wateska, IL in 1948, and later became Assistant Professor of Foods and Nutrition at Northern Michigan College of Education and was a research dietician at the University of Illinois at one time. Upon coming to the East Liverpool area, she was hired as the Home Economics and Learning Disabilities teacher with East Liverpool City Schools, a position she held from 1976 to 1994.
Lois continued to have a keen interest in history, and also enjoyed sewing, traveling and playing Bridge. She also appreciated music of all kinds, and especially loved choral music. Since 1981, Lois had served as the church organist at St. John Lutheran Church retiring from that position in 2012. Lois was also a gifted pianist.
Along with her husband, she was an avid supporter of Rotary International and was an integral part of the East Liverpool Rotary Club, serving as president in 2010-2011, and was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. Since 1972, Lois was a volunteer at the East Liverpool City Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and served in many capacities on the board, including President.
She was a longtime member of the Monday Literary Club, New Century Club, Ohio Retired Teachers Association, and Columbiana County Retired Teachers Association. A member of the East Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Lois served on the Ethnic Day committee, and was on the boards of both Riverview Cemetery and the Fawcett Foundation. She was happiest when she was busy doing for others, and she did it all with a cheerful smile upon her face.
Her husband, Bob, passed away on February 28, 2004. Lois is survived by her three children: Catherine Elizabeth "Cathy" Mekus and her husband, David, of Louisville, KY; Nancy Margaret Quimby and her husband, Joe, of Poland, OH; and Robert Jennings Beals II and his wife, Robin, of Jonesboro, TN.
Also surviving are her cherished her grandchildren: Stephanie Mekus, Adrienne Mekus, Savannah Beals, Sawyer Beals, Saxton Beals, Zachary Quimby and Eric Quimby, as well as nieces and nephews and many dear friends. A sister, Esther Elaine Stengel of Pecatonica, IL, also survives.
Lois was preceded in death by her sisters, Roberta Jane McPheron and Martha Margaret Wilson, as well as two infant brothers.
Funeral services will be held at St. John Lutheran Church at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, with Rev. Eric Edwards of the church officiating. Lois will be laid to rest beside her husband at Riverview Cemetery, after which time friends and family will return to the church for a continued time of fellowship.
Friends may visit at the Dawson Funeral Home on Wednesday, where the family will be present from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
"Going home, going home, I'm a'going home; quiet-like, some still day, I'm just going home."
View Lois' memorial webpage and send condolences to the family online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com