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Lois J. Schrader Patton

February 1, 1940 - August 24, 2012

Lois Patton, loving wife, mother, friend, and educator, passed away on August 24, 2012, after a long, courageous battle with esophageal cancer.
Lois was born February 1, 1940, to Gail and William Schrader of Neligh, Neb. She attended the small, country grade school of Antelope County District 56. She often joked that she was at the top of her class, and at the bottom, since she was the only student in her class. Later, while attending high school, Lois moved into Neligh, rented a room, and worked for a local lawyer to save money for college. After graduation, Lois attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., for two years. In the summer, Lois worked at the Custer State Game Lodge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. While there, she met William (Bill) Patton, her future husband. After a winter of “dating” (which, since they lived apart, meant about five phone calls and two actual dates) Lois and Bill began their lives together June of 1960.
Lois and Bill welcomed their first child, Laurel, in 1962. Mark came along in 1964. In 1967, Bill and Lois completed their family with the birth of Jill.
Lois and Bill moved their young family to Missoula, Mont., in 1968. Here Lois developed many lifelong friendships. For over 40 years, she enjoyed her friends, playing bridge with many of them each month in both a ladies and a couples group. After being diagnosed with lymphoma, Lois set the goal of walking in the Bloomsday race in Spokane, Wash. This led to an annual event which she enjoyed with family and friends for many years to come.
During these years, Lois completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education. She started her teaching career in 1978, teaching third and fourth grades at Hawthorne and Cold Springs elementary schools before retiring in 1998. Education was important to Lois. This showed in her participation in Alpha Delta Kappa, professional sorority as well as being an advisor for the University of Montana’s Mortar Board chapter for years.
Lois Patton was a devoted wife to her late husband, Bill Patton, during their 51½ years of marriage. Together, they had many wonderful adventures with friends, taking them to Alaska, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Between these big trips were many smaller ones with family and friends.
A testament to these adventures was Lois’s comment earlier this summer, “you know… there’s really nowhere else in the world I wanted to see.”
Despite aggressive cancer, Lois showed care and concern for others until the day she died. Friends commented on how while they were visiting to say goodbye, she was busy asking about them, their lives and families. Lois faced life’s challenges with dignity and grace. Her kindness and love touched the hearts of many.
Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; parents, Gail and William; siblings, Helen and Keith; and her daughter, Laurie.
She is survived by her siblings, June, Ruth, Richard and Gregg; children, Mark and Jill; and grandchildren Zachary, Jacob, Morgan, and Chloe.
A funeral service is planned for October 5, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 300 East Main, Missoula, Montana. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.