Lois Jean was born on Wednesday, October 8, 1958 at home, in Shallow Lake. She came from a large family and was one of fifteen children. As you can imagine, the size of the family added challenges to Lois’ childhood. She attended both public and secondary school locally until her stepmother died. Lois was only fifteen at the time. She soon moved in with her sister, Betty Wilson, in Keady.
It was during this time, Lois while out biking, caught the eye of a young man by the name of Robert “Darrell” Irwin. Darrell was passing through town and took immediate notice of Lois. He stopped to chat and as the saying goes, the rest is history! The young couple were married on Saturday, April 24, 1976, at the Keady United Church.
The newlyweds called Chesley home for the first few months before they bought a trailer and moved it to a property owned by Darrell’s dad in Elmwood. In 1995, Lois and Darrell removed the trailer and replaced it with a beautiful new home, something Lois was very proud of. Together they welcomed their first son, Jeff in October of 1976 before completing their family with the arrival of Brad in July of 1981. It should not be a surprise that Lois kept busy caring for her young family. She was also responsible for most of the chores around the house as Darrell was often on the road working. It was also during this time that Lois enjoyed playing baseball and was a member of the Bad News Bears.
Once the boys began attending school, Lois began working outside of the home and took a position at Bentinck Packers where she remained for the next twelve years. Following that, she worked at Durham Furniture in Chesley until the closing of the business. Most recently, she worked as a cook in a couple local retirement homes whereby she got to do something she enjoyed all day long… cooking, retiring in 2017.
Although life was often busy for Lois, many memorable memories were made with the boys when they were young on their local fishing trips. Stories were also told of their trips to Canada’s Wonderland, where it was said she enjoyed rides on the Ferris wheel. It was, however, up for discussion whether she enjoyed her time on roller coasters! 😊 In the early 1990’s Lois and the boys traveled west to see her sister and then around 2010 Darrell and Lois took a nice trip to the east coast to further explore our beautiful country.
When not busy with work, or her family, Lois loved spending time in the kitchen. It didn’t matter if she was cooking or baking, she was in her element. Family favourites included her banana bread, blueberry muffins and shortbread cookies. Of course, her talents were self-taught as she was always tuned into the latest cooking show or leafing through one of her many, many cookbooks. When the grandchildren began arriving, Lois was eager to get them into the kitchen as well and enjoyed making a variety of creations with them. No Christmas passed without Grandma helping them bake and decorate their gingerbread houses! In more recent years, she enjoyed sharing her talents with others and was a regular supporter of the Break Bread Community take-out meals in Chesley. It was nothing for her make 100 cupcakes from scratch and donate them to those in need.
Lois loved her cardinals and always enjoyed watching them on their property through the window. She was also a big fan of General Hospital, and it might be said that those closest to Lois knew not to call her during that particular hour of the day! Lol! Lois was a hardworking, caring woman who always put the needs of other before her own. She instilled many of these same characteristics in her children. However, like most of us, on occasion she was also known to be a bit opinionated and determined. She enjoyed her free time and was very comfortable around the house on her own.
Sadly, in recent months, Lois’ health began to decline. She valued her independence and with the help of family and friends was able to live out her remaining months on her own terms. She passed away peacefully at home, on Sunday, August 29, 2021 in her 63rd year.
Beloved wife of Darrell. Loving mother of Jeff (Kyla) of Chesley and Brad (Sherry) of Hanover. Lois will be dearly missed by her four loving grandchildren, Rob, George, Madison and Tyler, many siblings, and the entire Irwin family.
Private services will be held with inurnment to follow in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Baptist Church (please make cheques payable to Chesley Baptist Church) for their Break Bread Community Take-out Meal, a program that Lois regularly supported, would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.