Lois Katherine Willshire passed away peacefully on Monday morning, Dec. 19, 2016, at LyngBlomsten Care Center, in St. Paul, Minn. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 from First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls with burial to follow in the Redwood Falls Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10 until 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the church.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Hillestad Funeral and Cremation Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via
Lois Katherine Mathilda Mammen was born on June 1, 1919, on the family farm in Whiteside County, Illinois. Lois was the fourth child, and first daughter, born to Otto Mammen and Anna Henrietta (Remmers) Mammen. In 1927, Lois moved with her family to Minnesota, where Otto Mammen farmed in the Lucan, Wabasso and Redwood Falls areas. Lois attended country schools with her brothers, and was confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church in Wabasso, Minn. When she graduated the eighth grade, her father said it was time for her to stay home and help her mother cook and keep house for the family. Her parents bought a piano for Lois and her sister Virginia; so while Lois developed her wonderful talents as a homemaker, she also learned to play the piano, and later passed along those skills to her 5 daughters.
Lois met her future husband, Bud Willshire, when her brother Virgil started dating Mary Sexton. Bud had moved from Viola, Illinois, to Minnesota with Mary’s family, Jack and Helen Sexton. Lois and Bud were dating when Bud was drafted in October 1941 into the U.S. Army. He served in the North African and Italian campaigns, returning to the States in the spring of 1944. He and Lois were married at Redeemer Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn., on election day Nov. 3, 1944. Lois’s sister Virginia Mammen was her maid of honor and Joe Nelson stood up for Bud.
After their marriage, Lois joined Bud in Mississippi while Bud remained in the Army processing soldiers returning from the war in Europe. When Bud left the Army, Lois and Bud made their home on the Sherman L. Park farm on Hwy 71 south of Redwood Falls. Bud learned the purebred hog business and eventually became a partner. Lois and Bud started their family: Their daughters Kay and Jean were born while they lived in the little house across the highway from Sherm and Kathryn Park. When the Parks moved to Redwood Falls, Bud and Lois moved to the big farm house and welcomed their third daughter Karen. Lois had the surprise of her life in 1958, when she found out she was pregnant with twins. Mother and Dad might have been hoping for a boy, but identical twin girls, Joan and Jane, created a family of 6 women in a house with Dad and one bathroom.
Lois was the consummate farm wife, cooking and baking for the family, raising chickens for “egg money,” maintaining a large vegetable garden, canning vegetables and fruit, sewing clothes for the girls and later teaching them all how to sew, cook and bake. She supported her girls in their extensive 4H projects and extra curricular high school activities. Lois was an artist at heart and excelled at the extension classes offered by the U of M Extension service. Bud bought the piano from Lois’s parents and all the girls learned to play on Lois’s piano.
Lois taught her girls how to cook robust meat-and-potato meals, bake cookies, cakes and pies, fry chicken and prepare holiday dinners for the whole family. She planned and prepared receptions for five high school graduations. She joined her husband in an active social life when he was on various community boards. Lois was a member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary, the Piece Makers quilting group and the Dorcas circle at the First Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls. Lois made a quilt for each grand child when they graduated from high school.
Lois and Bud retired from the hog business in the late 70s and moved to Redwood Falls in 1984. Lois enjoyed travelling throughout the United States with Bud. She was the navigator and photographer. She said they were compatible and happy travelers, often visiting her sister Virginia in California and sometimes travelling with her brother Virgil and his wife Mary.
Bud died in August 2006, and in 2007 Lois moved to Garnette Gardens assisted living, just across the street from their house on Dekalb St. Lois made many friends and enjoyed many activities as a resident of Garnette Gardens. In October 2013, Lois moved to St. Paul, MN, to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren. Lois often remarked how much she enjoyed becoming “a city girl” and loved trying new restaurants, attending plays at The Guthrie and Chanhassen Dinner Theater, going to the annual Macy’s Flower Show and going for rides around the Twin Cities, especially along the Mississippi River near where she lived.
Lois was predeceased by her parents Otto and Anna (Remmers) Mammen, brothers Merle H. Mammen (Ludie), Ronald Mammen (Wilma), Virgil L Mammen (Mary) and sister Virginia A. Mammen. her husband J.G. (Bud) Willshire, sister-in-law Margaret Larson (Malcolm) and son-in-law James P. Foran, brother-in-law William Lyle Willshire (Mary), brothers-in-law Harlan S. Jason and Malcolm Larson and step grand daughter Kelly Bentz.
Lois is survived by her daughters Kay Lynn Willshire (Michael Carroll), St. Paul, MN; Jean Ann Bentz (Bruce) of Browerville, MN; Karen Sue Jensen (Larry) of Northfield, MN, Jane Lois Willshire Tempesta (Anthony) of Natick, MA; and Joan Marie Willshire (Jim Foran) of Minneapolis, MN; five grand children Meg Niedermeier (Kurt), Mairin Born (Dan), Michael Jensen (Robynne), Molly Jensen and Lauren M. Tempesta; two step grandsons Scott (special friend Carrie Mensen) and Brian Bentz, eight great grandchildren: Ben, Cole and Paige Niedermeier, Gracie, Jack and Luke Born, Ellie and Lizzie Jensen. Lois also is survived by Bud’s nieces and nephews: Bill Willshire (Kelli), Mary Jane Fairlie (Dick), Margaret Gordon (Jerry), Lannie Jason Beckmann (Jim), Chris Jason, Mary Lingbeck (Steve), Linda Jason, Steve Jason. Lois also is survived by three nieces and three nephews, children of her brothers Merle and Virgil.