Lois Marie Neufeldt passed away at the age of 89 on June 13, 2018, at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River, Ore. Sadly, her health recently failed and after a short illness, she passed away peacefully with family at her side.
Lois was born Oct. 27, 1928, to parents Herman C. and Florence J. Hammer in Salem, Ore. Lois grew up near Salem, where her parents were local farmers by trade, specializing in raising russet potatoes. Lois remembered riding with her father in the truck to deliver potatoes to area grocery stores and markets, and especially short stops at small grocery stores, where her father would buy each of them a bottle of soda pop: orange soda for Lois and root beer for her dad. Lois said she didn’t remember the hard times of the Great Depression era because of her young age, but she loved playing with dolls and having “tea parties” with dolls and occasional pets, like the cat she dressed in doll clothes and kept in a baby stroller. Lois had few other children to play with until starting school, so she spent many hours with her parents at home and in the fields, where they worked during the daylight hours. Lois got the entrepreneurial spirit early in life, selling hollyhocks for a nickel each on Sunday mornings before church. Big money in 1934-1935!
Lois was a junior in high school when she and a girlfriend went on a double date at a wiener roast with Ed Neufeldt and his brother, Bob. Ed had just been discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps following his recovery in Philadelphia, Pa., where he was recuperating from surgery related to his assignment at Guadalcanal during World War II. Lois remembers her first thought of Ed was a “fuddy duddy,” but very quickly fell in love with his sense of humor and honesty. Lois and Ed were engaged in late fall of that year and were married June 1, 1946, the first Saturday after her graduation from high school. The new couple spent their honeymoon at Suttle Lake in the central Oregon cascades, fishing for trout. They then moved to Coquille, Ore., where Ed had just assumed the position of manager at the Safeway grocery store. While they were living in Coquille, sons Roger and Doug were born.
In 1953, Ed was transferred to The Dalles, Ore., to take over as manager of Safeway. The Dalles was a boom town during the mind-1950s because of construction of The Dalles Dam and the Harvey Aluminum plant. Daughter Peggy Jo was born in The Dalles. When the construction wound down in The Dalles, most of the construction workers moved out and on to other jobs elsewhere, and business dropped dramatically. This created headaches for managers like Ed and other nationally-known companies, and after having his fill of upper management complaints, Ed and Lois purchased The Boys’ Pine Grove Grocery on Highway 35 in 1958 and moved to Hood River. Lois and Ed worked at the store six or seven days a week before selling the store in 1976 and retiring. During this time, they built a large home on a hill off Fir Mountain Road on the east side of the Hood River Valley with fantastic views of the valley, Mount Hood, Mount Adams and, at one time, Mount St. Helens.
Retirement gave Lois and Ed more time to spend at a small place they purchased and built near San Carlos, Mexico. They worked hard to build living quarters in a community with other retirees and enjoyed their time there very much. Lois was able to continue her paintings of desert landscapes and seascapes, and she was an active member of Ligue de Artes. Painting was a very important part of Lois’ lie and she was a member of the Hood River Art Club for 40 years. Lois was first drawn to painting when she painted a “paint by number” western scene of covered wagons and cowboys on horseback; and when she read a notice in the Hood River News entitled Art Classes —Beginners Welcome, she took a two-day painting class with Betty Paeth and painted her first of many pictures of Mount Hood. Lois painted a variety of subjects and is best known for her beautiful mountain, Columbia River Gorge and other landscapes, some from photos provided by her children and grandchildren, each of which were given paintings as Christmas gifts. There is no better gift than that.
Lois enjoyed people and when she joined any group or organization, she went “all in,” from being Cub Scout den mother for her two sons and the local Cub Scout Pack, to various art clubs, the Back Acre Garden Club, Hood River Golf Ladies League, and so on. Lois and Ed took ballroom dancing lessons from Loren and Marian Fletcher, longtime friends, and joined the Hundred Club in Portland, where the couple loved fancy dressing and dancing to music they grew up with in the 1940s and 1950s, and even taught dance lessons on a Mexico Riviera cruise. Lois also enjoyed playing golf with her lady friends and joined a mixed league with husband Ed, where they played after work once a week during the summer months. Lois was always artistically inclined and decorated the house accordingly for every holiday and especially Christmas, where the annual Neufeldt family dinner and gift giving celebration was held each Christmas Eve.
A couple of years ago, Lois moved from her Fir Mountain home to Down Manor, where she lived in a two-bedroom apartment, one bedroom exclusively arranged to continue her love of painting.
Lois was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Edward J. Neufeldt; her father, Herman C. Hammer; her mother, Florence J. Hammer; and her baby sister, Loree Janette Hammer, who lived only a few months, spending most of her short life in Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. Lois is survived by sons, Roger E. Neufeldt (Ada), Douglas C. Neufeldt (Darlene); and daughter, Peggy Jo Leslie (Steve); three grandsons, Jason Neufeldt (Karyn), Chase and Grant Drum; three granddaughters, Jane Osborne (Joel), Teresa Ellifritz (Larry) and Stefanie Gilbert (James); three great-granddaughters, Cailey and Madeline Hughes and Emilie Ellifritz; and two great-grandsons, Robert Alexander Ellifritz and Aaron Osborne.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Lois M. Neufeldt to Providence Hospice of the Gorge or the Ray T. Yasui Dialysis Center and may be sent in care of Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031.
Memorial services are planned for 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 28 at Anderson’s Tribute Center, Hood River. A reception will be held at Anderson’s immediately following the service. Graveside rites will be at 1:30 p.m. at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery.
Visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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