20 Apr Rest In Peace with Jesus
Our faithful friend and Hope member, Lois Sawyer Stahlke, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Easter Eve. The funeral service will be at Hope tomorrow, Friday, April 21, at 2:00 pm. Family and friends are invited to gather at a luncheon at the church from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Lois Lydia Stahlke was born on June 25, 1963 in Austin, Texas, as the only child of Glenn D. and Erna Klotz Sawyer. She lived her entire life in Austin — was baptized in September 1963 at First English Lutheran, confirmed in May 1978 At Faith Lutheran Church, and joined Hope Lutheran Church with her parents in February of 1988. She was called to rest in her eternal home on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Lois graduated from McCallum High School in 1981, where she was in the marching band. She went on to The University of Texas at Austin, played in the Longhorn Band for five years, and graduated with a degree in business (accounting). She started her career as a Property Management/Payroll Accountant for Capstone Real Estate Services, Inc., for two years. She then served as a Contract Payment Specialist at the Texas Department of Transportation for nearly 11 years where she coordinated payments to bridge and road-building contractors along with insurance settlements for damaged state roads property.Lois married Tim, a UT employee at the Texas Homeless Education Office, on March 13, 1999. Shortly after the wedding, Lois started working at her alma mater in the UT Office of Accounting – Student Accounts Receivable. Lois’ new job provided for the start of nearly 18 years of very enjoyable commutes to work for them both! Lois most recently served as an Assistant Director in the Office of Accounting.
Lois had a great love for music, played the piano since 4th grade and the French horn since 6th grade. She and Tim served as music directors together at Hope Lutheran Church, and she accompanied the choir, played in various handbell ensembles, and sang in the choir. She was absolutely critical to the success of all the ensembles, and was solely responsible for keeping the Director in line. She was active at Hope in many other ways, too;she served at various times as chair of the Christian Education Board, Treasurer, Sunday School teacher and youth leader.
Lois’ quiet demeanor was not to be taken lightly — it was a clear expression of her personal faith in God, her confidence in her salvation, her inner peace and strength, and her thoughtfulness. It was also why everyone loved her: it was the true mark of her deep compassion, caring, understanding, and love for all those around her. Strangers, colleagues, friends, and family alike loved to be around her. Even the four-legged members of all the various family households vied for her lap. Her spirit was contagious.
And then there was her ever-present smile. This was the clear evidence that Lois was passionate about living life to its fullest. She kept her band-mates in check and on schedule on Longhorn Band trips. She shared her family’s dinner table with friends during the holidays. And Lois liked the water. A lot. She loved taking walks with Tim to hidden waterfalls. Or kayaking in the Northumberland Strait to dig clams off of Prince Edward Island and paddling among the Mangrove trees along the Texas coast. She learned how to bodysurf off Mustang Island from her Dad. Then there were camping trips with church youth during mosquito-infested summers at Inks Lake. And she put everyone on the boat to shame by consistently landing the biggest fish pulled from the waters of Aransas Bay and the Laguna Madre. She loved water. A lot. Water of all kind. A lot. Even daily showers were 20-minute escapades.
We thank God for Lois. She was always a joy to be with. She made us all better. Lois was preceded in death by her mother, Erna, and is survived by her husband Tim, her stepson Andrew (wife Chelsea), grandsons Dustin and Liam, sister-in law Rebecca Harkey (husband Cecil), and brothers-in-law Jonathan (wife Mary) and David (wife Gale). She provided counsel to her nieces Abigail, Rachel, and Sarah, her favorite of which was Abicherah. She was very tolerant of the boy noises and antics of the male contingent: Paul, Adam, Kenneth, David, Alvin, and Peter. Cousins and extended family round out the field of those on whom she has left her mark.