Lois Arnesen (nee Whimster) died suddenly in her home in Nelson, BC on December 31, 2017 after celebrating a joyous Christmas season with her family. We are grateful that she was independent, active and engaged in her community to the very end of her life.
Lois is survived by her children Vicki Huva (Terry), Randine Arnesen (Art Stock) and John Arnesen (Michele); her six grandchildren Qadesh (Dom), Emmanuel (Amy), Anisa (Trevor), Tessa, Arlin (Laura) and Asha.
She was so pleased to fulfill her wish to welcome her newest grandchild Gilbert, born last summer, who along with Colton, twins Peyton and Ilia and young grandchild Asha brought her much delight. Lois enjoyed close relationships with all her nieces and nephews Janet Griffiths, Jeri Griffiths, Brian Whittred (Jenny), Julie Whittred (Ward) and with Asha’s mother Kirsten Bunton.
Her parents were long-term Nelson residents Bert and Jeanne Whimster; she was also predeceased by her sister Muriel Griffiths, her sister-in-law Molly (Arnesen) Whittred and her dear friend Norm Bedard.
Lois was born in Nelson, BC on February 5, 1928. Her childhood brimmed with happy memories of riding the trolley cars, hiking in Kokanee Park, dancing on the Moyie and summers spent at “No Eats”, the family cottage on Kootenay Lake. Lois excelled at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Preventative Medicine and Bacteriology and much later earned a teaching certificate from Notre Dame University in 1970.
Always interested and curious, she continued her love of learning throughout her life taking courses at Notre Dame University / David Thompson University Centre and more recently through the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), Learning in Retirement, Nelson’s literary festivals and the MIR Centre for Peace among others.
Trips with friends to Greece, Egypt, Israel, S.E. Asia, Turkey, Russia and Europe captivated her, but no more so than exploring BC and her beloved Kootenays. Lois worked for 16 years as a certified dental assistant at Dr. Bedard’s office. For 21 years, newcomers to Nelson were enthusiastically welcomed by Lois who greeted them through Welcome Wagon and Baby Welcome, alongside Edna Whiteley and Francis Welwood.
Lois loved and was very proud of her community of Nelson and served it well. She volunteered with many organizations over the years, most recently CFUW, Touchstones Nelson, Nelson Overture Concerts Society and the Capitol Theatre. She was honoured as Citizen of the Year in 2012.
Family gatherings were frequent and always a highlight for Lois. She will be dearly missed by her family and many friends at the numerous activities in which she participated including bridge, book club, church events and CFUW.
In lieu of flowers, Lois suggested a donation to the CFUW Nelson & District Scholarship Fund, Box 4, Procter, BC V0G 1V0 or contact Cathy Leugner, President at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, 3 View St., Nelson BC, V1L 2V1, phone 250-354-2334
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 27th at 2 pm at the Nelson United Church.
Online condolences may be offered at www.thompsonfs.ca/obituaries