God called our mother home on 5 March 2022. I thought we would have more time, but it wasn’t meant to be. Mom was born to Charles and Elaine Lewis in Compton, California on 13 July 1937. A few years later her younger sister Colleen was born. From all the photos I have seen, she and her younger sister really enjoyed growing up in Southern California in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
My sister Kim and I came along in 1957 and 1961. Growing up in Southern California during the 1960’s was a magical time for all of us. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom made sure we spent every weekend on the beach, either in Laguna, Newport, or Corona Del Mar, enjoying the sun and surf. Mom was the ultimate 1960s Cali beach girl! She also made sure we made annual visits to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, that was before they became too expensive!
Mom worked as a Dental Hygienist and then started her own house cleaning business in Lake Arrowhead, California. After retirement, she took advantage of travel opportunities, visiting Tahiti, Mexico, the Panama Canal, Hawaii to name just a few. Additionally, she visited us many times while we were stationed in Germany, in fact, not listening to my advice to take the military bus into East Berlin from Tempelhof (1988) she, my grandmother and grandfather were detained by the East German Border Police across from checkpoint Charlie for a few hours, kind of ruined their shopping trip. When they returned to our home near Koblenz, I remember my grandfather saying he would never go shopping with those two women ever again! 😊
Mom always loved the United States and was very patriotic. Her patriotism was instilled in both my sister and me and we continued to live as patriots as we aged. She was very proud that I served and retired from the military on 1 Jan 2009. She loved the photo of me sitting in Saddam Hussein’s chair. We also discovered that mom had taken my Bronze Star (without me knowing) and proudly displayed it on her shelf in Palm Springs, when I asked her how it came into her possession she replied with a coy smile “you gave it to me”, we never agreed on that but what a proud patriot she was. Mom was the last of the true characters in life. She was silly, mean, exasperating, playful, dark, yet also could be warm, kind, loving, generous, compassionate, wise, and colorful. She loved Steak and Lobster, a good glass of wine, and an occasional cigar. In 2017, despite my warnings about the winter weather, mom and her husband Rick relocated from Palm Springs to Spokane to be closer to us. We were blessed to be able to see all the parts of her personality in the 5 years she lived close to us. Mom’s journey continues but before she departed, she taught us two things, Grace, and Forgiveness. Mom, you truly left a mark on our lives. We will always miss our daily calls from you at dinnertime and the Sundays that you would come for dinner, a glass of wine, and a good cigar. We will always think of you and smile. You will be missed more than you’ll ever know.
Mom is survived by her sister Colleen (Gordon Parmalee) of Oceanside, California, daughter Kim (Roger Ward) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, son Scott Lohman (Nola) of Spokane Washington, grandchildren Tara Ward, James Ryerson, and Eric Waters, Bryan Lohman (Sarah), Joshua Lohman (Alona) and her great granddaughter, Emma (daughter of Bryan and Sarah). Mom was predeceased by her both of her parents, and her husband, Rick (2019).
We will always Love and Cherish your memory!