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Lois Spencer Straw

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On October 23, 2017 @ 8:26 am In Obituaries | 20 Comments

Lois Spencer Straw, 74, passed away unexpectedly on October 20, 2017 in Lancaster, PA.

Lois was born in Grampian, PA on February 10, 1943. She went to high school at Curwensville High School where she met future husband James W. Straw. She earned an Business degree at DuBois Business School and then married Jim on Sept 4, 1965. She worked as a Secretary for several years before realizing her passion for caring for children in her home while raising her two children. She was beloved by these children’s parents and was given the nickname “Angel of Dreahook Road”. They explored different parts of the US while Jim worked for AT&T; moving from PA to Illinois to New Jersey before finally settling back in their home state of Pennsylvania.

Anyone who knew Lois soon learned of her love for her family, gardening and Penn State Football. She found a passion late in life for flower arranging and her unique creations could be found decorating many areas within Willow Valley. Lois was a kind and gentle woman who will be dearly missed by those who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald & Lula Spencer, her sister Ethel and seven brothers: Donald Jr., Darrell, Ray (Buck), Robert, Edward, Keith and Gary. She is survived by her husband Jim of 52 years, her brother Richard Spencer of Pittsburgh and Sister-in law Nancy Pakulski at Willow Valley. She is also survived by her son Brad W. Straw and his wife Dana of Washington; her daughter, Wendy Van Kampen and her husband Michael Van Kampen of Michigan and her five grandchildren; Alec W. Straw, Brian W. Straw; Andrew Warner and his wife Sarah; Kaitlyn Van Kampen, Alison Van Kampen and one great grandchild, Ava Warner.

Lois’ Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 am Saturday, October 28, in the Johnson Auditorium at Willow Valley Communities North Building. Burial will be at Fruit Hill Cemetery, New Millport, PA at a later date.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Willow Valley Team Member Education Fund addressed to the Lakes Campus Bookkeeper, Willow Valley Team Member Education Fund, 300 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, Willow Street, PA 17584 or the Water Street Mission at 210 S Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Condolences for the family of “Lois Spencer Straw”

Condolence from Tom Petrie on October 23rd, 2017 8:59 pm

A very dear lady who briefly touched my life and whom will be sorely missed, my condolences to the family

Condolence from Maria Darrow on October 23rd, 2017 9:22 pm

Sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you.

Condolence from Darlene Duttry on October 23rd, 2017 11:18 pm

Jim and family. We’re shocked and very sad to hear of Lois. Totally unexpected. I remember our CJHS band experiences, me once ‘borrowing her shorthand homework when she was totally prepared (of course) and I wasn’t. Lots of chats in HS and beyond. Sometimes at our beach gatherings she approached our ‘get ups” with trepidation but once everyone adapted to the costume she was all in and appeared to wear them with gusto. We compared our twin grandkids stories. She was very proud of her ‘artist’ granddaughter and included me on that school website. I remember us going to Sunset and seeing Louis Armstrong in person sometime in the 60’s after graduation. She shared that she was VERY happy at The Willows and we encouraged her one year to become the Willow ‘flower arranger’ which I think she did. God Bless you and your family. May you find consolation in her life well lived but cut short. warmest regards and consolation, Darlene Duttry…..and Denny.

Condolence from Dan Miller on October 24th, 2017 2:59 pm

So sorry for your loss. We will cherish many childhood memories that we shared with “Peachie” in our hometown of Hepburnia.
Love Dan Miller

Condolence from Evelyn Wagner on October 24th, 2017 4:06 pm

Jim and I were very sorry to hear of Lois’ passing.

Condolence from Helen Morris on October 24th, 2017 7:05 pm

To Jim, Brad and Wendy,
Extremely saddened to hear about Lois’ passing. Her legacy will live on as a most caring,
Kind and responsible persons I’ve had the pleasure to know. Lois was a true friend to me
and many others. Her deep love for you(Jim, Brad and Wendy) was immeasurable. What
ever project Lois took on, she did it whole-heartedly.
May her memory be Eternal and May she be surrounded with love and peace. She will be
greatly missed.

Condolence from Chris on October 24th, 2017 7:30 pm

So sorry for your loss. Praying for all the family.
Chris (Rafferty) McCafferty
Rege’s sister.

Condolence from Dorothy Greslick Fletcher on October 25th, 2017 10:39 am

Jim & Family: I’m so very sorry for your loss – I always thought so much of Lois & can remember her sweet smile. I think the last time I saw her was at the fraternity get-together at Penn State where your son & mine (Sean Fletcher) belonged. My sincere sympathy…….

Condolence from Bill Rubbe on October 25th, 2017 10:55 am

Jim, and the family of Lois, I was truly saddened to hear of Lois death. Remembering you and Lois in the band and how special you and your families were. God Bless all of you at this sad and difficult time. Sincerely. Bill Rubbe

Condolence from Ann and Don Garee on October 25th, 2017 12:30 pm

Jim and Family. Lois will be sooo missed. We have been in Willow Valley for a relatively short time. You and Lois were one of the first couples we met and you made us feel very much at home. Lois friendship was very special to us. Don’t think we will ever pass her flower locations without recalling special memories.

Condolence from Bruce Edwards on October 26th, 2017 1:50 am

Very sad news. As gracious a lady as I have ever known. Her positive influence on my children’s early social development will always be with them.

Condolence from John Wright on October 26th, 2017 11:15 am

Jim & family… so sorry to hear of Lois’s passing. My prayers are with you. Take care

Condolence from Wayne & Doris Pritchett on October 26th, 2017 11:23 pm

Dear Jim, We want to say how very sorry we are to learn of your loss. May many cherished memories ease your sorrow and help you carry on. She will be missed very much by all .
Doris and Wayne ( currently away from Willow Valley)

Condolence from Dan Danvir on October 27th, 2017 6:39 am

Uncle Jim and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Aunt Lois’s passing. She is with Jesus Christ. Love you and my prayers are with you.

Condolence from Bobby and Sandy Wise on October 27th, 2017 7:40 am

Jim, family and all who loved her.

Sandy and I were stunned and saddened when we were told of her sudden and unexpected death. It reminds us how fragile and precious life is and we pray that the wonderful memories and example she leaves for you and your family will heal the hurting.

Condolence from Bonnie VAN TASSEL-PARENT on October 28th, 2017 12:20 pm

Our condolences to you and your family. Lois was a soft and friendly spirit who will be missed. God bless you and your family.

Stan and Bonnie Parent

Condolence from Wendy & Steve Haynes on October 28th, 2017 6:18 pm

Dear Jim, Brad, Wendy & family…we were deeply saddened to hear of Lois’s unexpected passing. I still remember her sweet voice & laughter. I will forever be grateful for Lois watching our girls in your home when they were little whenever I needed her. I still have Japanese Iris’s at our home that she gave me from her garden on Dreahook Road. May she live on through her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren …may she Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Tish Plum on October 28th, 2017 6:54 pm

But she was so young! God must have important matters in heaven for her to deal with. Jim. I remember her with loving happy smiles!!

Condolence from Donald Beyer on October 29th, 2017 2:20 pm

Filled with sorrow over the loss of a classmate yet grateful for the opportunity to have known a wonderful person. May your sadness soon dull and smiling memories take its’ place. Don (Maria) Beyer

Condolence from Chris Clapp on November 22nd, 2017 12:19 pm

Jim, Brad, and Wendy,

I am so sorry to hear of Lois’ passing. My memories of the time spent in your home while she cared for me are fuzzy because I was so young, but the memory of how sweet and caring she was is still perfectly clear. My condolences to you and the rest of your family.

With love,


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