Lois Litchfield Bodeau, age 89, died peacefully at home on August 28, 2021 surrounded by her family, following a short illness.
Lois was a warm, loving, intelligent woman with a constant enthusiasm for life, wide-ranging interests, and a quiet, abiding Christian faith. She had many close friends, loved art and music, and was always active walking, swimming, gardening, doing handicrafts, and cooking and caring for her family and friends.
Lois had an inquisitive, scientific mind and loved learning. She attended Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she graduated with her B.S. in Medical Technology. She worked for many years as a MedTech, a phlebotomist, and also taught Hematology at a college in the Twin Cities.
Lois was passionate about education for all and served on the education committees of several women’s organizations, including PEO and the DAR. Lois was a long-time member of PEO, most recently Chapter AB in Chippewa Falls. She was also a member of the DAR and led the Eau Claire DAR Good Citizen Scholarship committee for many years.
Lois was an accomplished genealogist, which led to her membership in noteworthy organizations including “Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America,” and the “Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the United States of America.”
She was a supporter of the arts and enjoyed attending plays, symphonies and art exhibits throughout her life.
Lois and Bob traveled all over the world during their lives, including Egypt, China, Europe and the British Isles, Alaska, Latin America, and throughout the United States and Canada. She was a good and avid bridge player, playing both couples bridge with Bob and ladies bridge with friends.
Lois adored her children and their spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, as well as her many friends and relatives. Many found a trusted and comforting ear in Lois.
Lois’s devoted husband Bob has written the tribute below:
My beautiful wife, Lois Litchfield Bodeau, has just gone to heaven. She was born Lois Ann Litchfield, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on May 16, 1932. She was the youngest of six children of Thomas R. Litchfield from Gilmanton and Myrtle I. Trowbridge from Mondovi. Lois was a great joy and solace to her parents during WWII when both of their sons served as US Army Air Corps pilots overseas, and their son-in-law was deployed with the US Navy.
Young Lois’s favorite things included riding horses with her father around a farm he owned, and later riding competitively in horse shows. She loved being a member of the High School’s marching band where she played French horn, and also did gymnastics and cheerleading for the school, remembering fondly going with the teams to Madison for championship games.
When Lois was a girl, her parents had a cottage on Lake Wissota which stayed in the family until recently. She spent many happy days at the Cottage with her family, as both a child and an adult, swimming and boating, playing games, picking berries, playing with the dog (there were several!) and hosting gatherings large and small.
Lois started college at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She transferred to the University in Madison after two years in order to access the technical courses needed to complete her chosen education as a Med-Tech. Lois remained close to eight of her Lawrence friends and they maintained a “round-robin letter” for over fifty years, ending only when just two of “the girls” were left alive.
Lois and I met at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in February, 1954. We played on the same volleyball team and fell for each other. When I received orders to report to the Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I called and asked her to join me there and she said yes. So we married in October, 1954 and started raising our family.
We started with a boy, and, as we both had a brother named Don, our boy’s name quickly became Don. Our second one was also a boy; due on March 17, he was going to be named Patrick, but he came 10 days early so we named him Geoffrey. Then a girl we named with a beautiful French name, Jean Marie Bodeau. Then a third boy we named John and used Patrick for his middle name. Our fifth and last child was another boy; we named him Robert. We did not want him to be a “Junior” so his middle initial is different than mine. Many years later we realized we had named our five kids in alphabetical order!
While I was working, Lois was doing more important things – raising our children, who have become responsible adults with families of their own. With just a little help from me, she molded the seven of us into a family that did things together. We stayed, played, went, learned, and grew together. At dinner we shared our days and lives together. We knew, trusted, and loved each other. We spent summers at the Cottage on Lake Wissota and traveling “out west” to Yellowstone and other destinations. Lois especially loved being with all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that came along.
It did not matter how Lois felt – for thirty years she was up for breakfast with whichever of us was up, for school, hunting, fishing, or going anywhere special.
Lois’s father had given her a piano when she was young, and it came with her when we married. She used that piano to teach music to each of our kids. Interestingly, three of our five kids have stayed with music as adults.
My wonderful wife loved art and found time to become a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, teaching groups of children about the art she loved. She was a Den Mother for Cub Scouts and was active with Jean’s Camp Fire Girls group. She also organized the neighborhood women to start an investment club and kept it going for several years. They also had their own bowling team.
Lois is survived by her husband of 66 years, Bob; her five children, Don (Kim), Geoff (Sandy), Jean (Chris), John, and Rob (Andi); her grandchildren Sarah (Paul Brandt), Erin Tower (Corey), Thomas, Anne, John (Haleigh), James, Will, Shannon, Sam, and Emily; and her great-grandchildren Katherine, Sylvia, and Gavin. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Myrtle Litchfield, her five siblings, Lorraine Larson (Milton), Erna Olson (Les), Thomas (Harriet), Doris Speckien (Harold) and Donald (Joann, Shirley); and her grandson David.
Lois Litchfield Bodeau, our wife, mother, and grandmother, left the world a better place and will be deeply missed by the many whose lives she touched. Lois will live on in our hearts forever.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to the David T. Bodeau and Family Fund at the Eau Claire Community Foundation.
Memorial service will take place at 11 am on Friday, September 3, 2021 at Lake Street United Methodist Church in Eau Claire. Memorial visitation will take place at the church Friday morning from 9:30 am until the time of service. Private family inurnment will take place in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire at a later date. Due to the current situation, masks are requested to be worn while in the church. To attend the service virtually, please click on the live-stream link provided https://boxcast.tv/view/lois-l-bodeau-funeral-service-bikx866ideyjwpxxyoz3
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lois L Bodeau, please visit our floral store.