Proston woman gave much to others
JAMES MCDOUGALL has many fond memories of his wife Lois but the one memory that will never escape his mind is the way her voice echoed beautifully whenever she sang.
"Lois and I sat together close to the back of the church of my Dad's sister-in-law's funeral," James said.
"The hymn The Shepherd's Psalm was announced and I could hear a beautiful voice, clear as a bell, sounding near me. I looked around and soon discovered that the voice was Lois."
The couple was married in 1998 but knew of each other for many years through their connection with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Lois was born on September 8, 1955 in Brisbane, and grew up on a dairy farm on the Sunshine Coast with her parents and sister, Ellen.
Lois's mum would take her and her sister to the Princess Alexandra Hospital to visit the sick and elderly.
"They would sing and pray for those confined to their beds," James said.
"My guess is this is where Lois developed her love for those less fortunate than her.
"She treated everyone with respect no matter who they were - Lois respected all. Whether they came to her with bare feet, raggedy clothes, they got the same respect as those who had high positions."
Lois married her first husband, Franz, in Caboolture and they had two children, Daniel and Keren. Franz remembers how loving his wife was and his most treasured memory was of going to church together as a family.
In 1996, Lois moved her children to Hivesville, where she home-schooled them, relearned how to drive a car and bought a Magna she named Dixie.
During this time, Lois and James became close friends, before their friendship blossomed to love.
The two moved to a little rental on the top of a hill in Proston and Lois was offered a job at the library in town.
"Lois jumped at the chance because she loved books and she loved people," James said.
"She needed a way of getting away from home and interacting with the community - her confidence flourished once she was given the opportunity to work at the library and serve people."
The happiness was cut short when Lois was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2014.
James cared for her in their home before Lois died, surrounded by family and friends last month.
Even after her death, the family still has fond memories of a woman who was loving, humble and a person people could rely on.
"Even in her illness, Lois reached out to others," James said.
"She made the table displays for my nephew's wedding. We walked the streets and asked people for flowers."
During her last 10 years, Lois produced maybe thousands of bookmarks with pictures she had gleaned from different places with Bible verses on them.
"I was awe struck to see how simple pictures, coloured card, laminating plastic and encouraging verses could look so beautiful after Lois had worked with them," James said.
"Lois was a loving, humble person.
"She could not do enough for you and believed she could have done more."