Lois E. Howell passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at the age of 89.
Lois (nee Benedict) was born August 19, 1933, in Detroit Michigan to Rose (nee Gaston) and Willard Benedict. A life-long Detroiter, Lois married Clay Howell in 1960. They lived for more than 40 years in West Bloomfield, MI. and raised two children, Leslie Welch, and Jason Howell. Lois was a graduate of Michigan State University. She was one of the first women on the Detroit police force and then served as a probation officer for Wayne County Courts.
An advocate for women’s rights and financial independence, Lois volunteered with the Women’s Voting League, the local quilting guild, and founded a small but very successful investment club. She also founded the West Bloomfield Community Garden. She loved traveling and, as part of Nomads Travel Club, visited Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Spain and other parts of the world.
Mom had many passions. She loved sewing, investing, traveling, Paul Newman, reading “historical fiction” novels and installing very large, tasteful (loud) wallpaper combinations. We had a large loom in our basement as well as many, many “good boxes” which we were not allowed to throw away. She mentored many young people during her life and was very involved in building her neighborhood and community. Her favorite was my husband, John, who quickly joined the ranks of people she loved and mentored. They loved to laugh together.
Mom and I went on a 14-day trip to Ireland after I left college and, as she would say, “we didn’t kill each other.” She took our family to many amazing places: Bermuda, Palm Springs, Boyne Mt., Sarasota, New York, Colorado, Newport, Nova Scotia (attempted), the reversing falls of Canada (look it up), and a safari in Canada where we were attacked by baboons who ate parts of my dad’s faux leather topped car. Thanks to mom’s planning, we enjoyed 30+ years of summer vacations at Hilton Head, S.C. with our extended family, Maxine and Bob Johnson.
She lived the last 17 years of her life at Fox Run Retirement Community in Novi, Michigan where she met and befriended many people over the years. Our thanks for the care they provided her, especially in the last years of her life.
Lois was preceded in death by her husband Clay, sister Patricia, and brother Milbry “Moby”. She is survived by her daughter Leslie, husband John, grandsons Lucas and Joshua; her son Jason, as well as many dear family members and friends, including Paula Sexton and Maxine Johnson.
Per Mom’s wishes, there will be no funeral or service. She will be interred with her husband Clay later in 2023. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Autism Society of North Carolina, Wake County Chapter, in honor of her grandson Joshua Welch.