Miss Lois Ann Holmquist, 97, of Martin, KY, passed into her heavenly home, Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at the Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Center at Hazard, KY. "Miss Lois," was the respectful salutation children and adults used to greet this sweet lady who served the Lord for 70 years.
As a girl, Miss Lois grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in a Christian home. Miss Lois completed her school years including technical high school education. Upon graduation, Miss Lois, went to work in a plant making parachutes for the war.
At age 27, Miss Lois believed God was calling her to Kentucky to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children. Miss Lois prayerfully considered God's call. In late November, 1950, Miss Lois packed her trunk and loaded it onto the back of a panel-rack truck, driven by a couple from Michigan. It was winter weather with snow and ice, and the truck had chains fastened to the tires to improve traction. Still, as they neared the Ashland area, the truck slid and her trunk went flying out of the vehicle. This was the first of many adventures.
Miss Lois and her late co-corker, Miss Barbara Wynsma, worked together for almost 50 years before the Lord took Miss Barbara home April 15, 1999.
Miss Lois dedicated her life to Christian work. This work began in rural schools for as long as school districts allowed missionaries and Bible teaching. The co-workers had 30 minutes for their school visits. The Bible lesson included felt figures on a flannel board; memorizing Bible verses was part of the lesson. For fun and for learning too, they quizzed about the story, and awarded prizes to the kids who earned them, and Miss Lois played her accordian and everyone sang songs, such as Jesus Loves Me! This Little Light of Mine! Unknown to most, these co-workers traveled to as many as 6 rural schools in a day. In the summer, the work included a morning vacation Bible school and a drive to another location for an afternoon vacation Bible school; they held vacation Bible schools for six weeks.
In the late 1950s, Miss Lois put 9-10 children in her jeep each Saturday morning to travel to the WPRT Radio Station in Prestonsburg to sing on the Children's Bible Hour, a live program. Miss Lois positioned the children so that they projected into the microphone, and she played the piano. On Sundays, Miss Lois taught Bible stories to children in Sunday School.
The basement at Miss Lois and Miss Barbara's home at Eastern became another place for ministry. Each Tuesday afternoon, the basement became a place for children to come to the JOY Bible Club. The young people learned about Jesus, put on puppet shows with beautiful puppets that Miss Lois made, engaged in Bible Quizzes, sang, ate snacks , and learned about missionaries in foreign countries and their work for the Lord. Also, in their home, in the early 1980's the women had an early technology ministry called Phone-A-Story. By dialing a dedicated phone number, Phone-A-Story provided the caller, a Christian story. Another use of the home was to establish a women's ministry that met each month to study the Bible, and this group hosted area wide Mother/Daughter themed banquets and Mother of the Year recognitions.
Miss Lois has served with the Camp Nathanael ministry since the early 1990s. During summers, she has helped with summer camps, ranging from teaching a class or leading a handcraft activity. In recent years, Miss Lois has reviewed children's camp lessons during school months and provided encouragement for children to complete work to earn a free week at Camp Nathanael.
Few people knew of Miss Lois's talents since she never called attention to herself. Miss Lois was accomplished as a seamstress and at needlepoint, creating frame-able art in needlepoint and 12 ft tall, embroidered, tapestry drapes that were hung in a church in Florida. Miss Lois enjoyed photography and has taken countless, scenic photos of these mountains. Then too, Miss Lois had a special gift of music that she shared in many ways through playing the piano, the accordian, the organ, and the dulcimer. For several years, she taught piano and played for church services. In 1968, Miss Lois was a guest pianist at the Ford Philphot evangelical meeting in Prestonsburg.
Miss Lois loved the Lord with her whole heart and trusted Him no matter what came. When Miss Lois left her home in Michigan and came to Kentucky to serve the Lord, she marveled that she never got homesick or regretted coming. It was her affirmation that she was following God's will for her life. Throughout these 70 years in God's service, Miss Lois has been a faithful witness. In her daily walk, Miss Lois has encouraged daily Bible reading and on-going prayer. Occasionally, a former Bible club child (adult now) shared: "You were the first person to tell me about Jesus! And I appreciate it!"
In these last months, especially, Miss Lois longed to meet the Lord, face to face. Now, we believe Miss Lois has met the Lord face to face and bowed before the throne of God because she asked Jesus to save her many years ago.
While on Earth, Miss Lois was part of a large family. She enjoyed three sisters: Julie Klint, Salyers, MI: Arlene Bour, Wyoming, MI; Marjorie Scheltema, Vista, CA. In addition to her parents, the late Elmer W. and JoAnna Telder Holmquist, she had three brothers all who have entered eternity: Leon Jay Holmquist, Erwin Holmquist, and Paul William Holmquist.
Miss Lois's body will be laid to rest at the Camp Nathanael Cemetery, Saturday, January 2, 2021. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m., and service will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 2 2021 at Hall Funeral Home, Martin , KY, with Camp Nathanael ministers officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center, 57 Dennis Sandlin MD Cove, Hazard, KY 41701
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Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center
57 Dennia Sandlin MD Cove, Hazard KY 41701