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Lois was born December 30, 1915, to Jennie McCullough Thomas and Amos Thomas in Harris, Missouri. After graduation from LaBelle High School, she traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to work in the office of Dr. Harry S. Grim, her uncle and first practicing optometrist in the state of Iowa.
It was in Cedar Rapids that she met Merrill W. Miller, a graduate of Coe College who was associated with Sherwin Williams Paint Company. They married in 1936. After living in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, Ottumwa became her residence. Throughout her life she clearly displayed a resolute work ethic that was unmistakable. As wife and mother of four, her talents at keeping the household operating at a top-notch level were always apparent.
She knew how to cook meals that only later in our lives did we come to realize were extra-ordinary. Her sewing projects were defined with precision and professionalism. Her energies seemed boundless! So also was her love. She valued higher education and encouraged us to also. Volunteering her time in our church and schools, she planted the seed that these values were to be important in our lives now and always.
For a woman of strength, probably her most challenging feat came after she was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1990. We as spectators could only reflect with awe upon her determination and courage as she endured the necessary surgeries and therapy. She presently resides in Ottumwa and travels with her husband to enjoy visits with children and grand-children. We are proud to honor our mother as an everyday heroine by "setting her love in stone" in the Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University.
Phil Miller - Wichita, Kansas
Sandy Covil - Spartensburg, S.C.
Linda Carver - Ames, Iowa
Bob Miller - Madison, Wisconsin