Selflessly giving was simply a way of life for Lois Dornbach as she lived to be a constant help to those in her life in whatever way she could. She delighted in caring for the four sons she shared with the love of her life for over 50 years. Although life was not without challenge for Lois, she met each trial with a graceful strength that allowed her to face each new day. She never shied away from hard work and was always willing to do whatever needed to be done no matter what it entailed. With a life that spanned times of plenty and times of want, times of war and times of peace, Lois leaves behind a beautiful history that will be forever treasured.
The year 1927 was a year in which our nation had been enjoying a sustained period of growth and prosperity due in part to advancements in technology such as the mass production of automobiles and the first full-length “talkie.” People were looking to enjoy themselves a bit by taking in movies and Broadway shows or at times, just having a good time with friends and loved ones. It was within this vibrant decade that became known as the “Roaring Twenties” that Clifford and Evelyn (Ernesee) Owens welcomed the birth of their daughter, Lois May, on February 12, 1927. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lois was the oldest of six children in her family including her brother, Clifford, and sisters, Lorraine, Luella, Leona, and Loretta.
The prosperity of the twenties quickly gave way to the hardship of the thirties after the crash of the stock market on “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929. Like so many other American families, the Owens family did what they could to survive while clinging to hope for the future. Their family was held together by love during times that could have easily torn them apart. Each person in their family worked hard in whatever way they could and since Lois’s father suffered from serious illness, things were far from easy. Lois willingly made the sacrifices she could, however, including dropping out of high school in order to help her mother clean houses.
Brighter days were on the horizon for Lois when at the young age of 19, she met the man who would fill in the missing spaces in her heart. His name was Eugene Dornbach, and he was a Navy veteran who was injured during WWII. At the time they met, Gene was recovering at the Wood Military Hospital in Milwaukee. There was an attraction between Lois and Gene that blossomed into true love and they married. Gene became a salesman in industrial sales while Lois was a key punch operator. Eventually, she became a supervisor in charge of other key punch operators. The couple was blessed with four sons together: Edward, Scott, Gary, and Patrick. Lois immersed herself into her role as a mother as nothing made her happier than each of her sons.
While their children were young, Lois and Gene took their family on several fun-filled road trips across the country taking in many of the magnificent sights our nation has to offer. When her family grew to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Lois was overjoyed. Her children and their families were the most important thing in her life.
There were certain traits and interests that were unique to Lois and that made her such a special woman. She was the most generous person her family had ever known. She was always more than willing to go without something herself in order to help someone who had a need that she could fulfill. Although much of her time was spent with her family, Lois enjoyed reading detective novels and putting together extensive jigsaw puzzles.
As is so often the case, life was not without trying times for Lois. Their family was dealt a devastating blow with the death of Patrick on November 1, 2000. The days following his death were understandably the most difficult days that Lois and Gene had ever been faced with. Lois was again deeply saddened with the death of her beloved Gene just one year later on November 12, 2001, leaving her without her companion for the first time in 53 years. After a time, Lois began dealing with health issues that made it necessary for her to enter Mount Carmel Nursing Home. The last two years of Lois’s life were spent at Waukesha Springs Health and Rehabilitation in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The world is full of all kinds of mothers, but Lois Dornbach was a mother who was not only able to provide for the needs of her children, but to reach their hearts as well. She was kind-hearted and as generous as they come. Lois was blessed to share many years with her true love with whom she established the family who will be her lasting legacy. She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
Lois May Dornbach died on June 18, 2010. Lois’s family includes her sons, Edward (Susan) Dornbach, Scott (Diane) Dornbach, Gary (Lynn) Dornbach; daughter-in-law, Joan Mech; siblings, Clifford (Vera) Owens, Leona (Al) Vele, and Loretta (Conrad) Woyak; grandchildren, Kim, Jarod, Amy, Chad, Pam, Gary, Miranda and Patrick; great- grandchildren, Clara, Marcello, Anna, Henry, Jackson, Kiera, Ethan and Luca; sister-in-law of Roy Royle as well as other relatives and friends. Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene; son, Patrick; and sisters Lorraine Haertel, Luella Royle and brother-in-law Carl Haertel. Visit with Lois’s family and friends on Wednesday, June 23 at Parkway Apostolic Church 10940 S. Nicholson Road Oak Creek from 5:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 7:00 p.m. Please visit www.lifestroynet.com where you can leave a favorite memory or photo or sign the online guestbook. Arrangements provided by Suminski Family Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski 414-744-5156.
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