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Lois Ann Langreck, 78

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Lois Ann Langreck, age 78 of Waucoma, died Friday, March 29, 2024, at Hillcrest Home in Sumner.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Waucoma with the Rev. Nick Radloff celebrating the Mass.

Interment will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Waucoma.

Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Waucoma where there will be a 4 p.m. Rosary and a 7 p.m. Scripture
Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Wednesday.

Hugeback-Johnson has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Lois Ann (Gebel) Langreck was born July 7, 1945, in Elma, to Leo and Barbara Gebel. She grew up on a farm outside North Washington, enjoying farm life, church, school and playing her accordion and piano.

She attended North Washington Catholic School and then New Hampton High School, where she graduated in 1963. After graduation, she began working as a clerk for the U.S government in the Selective Service office in New Hampton, also serving in Cresco and Decorah.

Lois met Florian “Flo” Langreck at a dance in Lawler. Florian had a friend ask Lois if she would go out with him, and she luckily agreed. They were married on Oct. 17, 1964, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in her hometown of North Washington.

The newlyweds immediately settled on the Langreck family farm by Waucoma. The couple began farming, including crops, animals, and a garden. Lois raised over 400 chickens each year to butcher and sell, in addition to laying hens to produce and sell eggs. Besides eating a lot of chicken, the family also delighted in homemade angel food cake with all those eggs. Lois developed an affinity for chickens and roosters, both on the farm and in her decorating collections. Various other live birds joined the farm flock, from ducks and geese to guineas and even peacocks.

Lois became a mother on October 28, 1965, when Rebecca Joan “Becky” was born. They welcomed their second daughter, Bonita Marette, “Bonnie,” on May 28, 1974.

While raising their daughters, Lois continued to work outside and inside the home, farm and volunteer in the community. She was busy but always there to support her kids’ activities, whether working in the concession stand at the ballpark or sewing dresses for school plays.

Lois was good with numbers and a quick typist. She did all the bookwork for Flo’s business, Langreck Furnace Sales & Service, and the family farm. She continued to work for the Selective Service until 1976 as well. In 1980, she was hired as the Waucoma city clerk, and then by the Waucoma Post Office as the postal clerk. She worked for the U.S. Postal Service for many years as a clerk and mail carrier, then as officer in charge in Lawler until she became a postmaster in Protivin. She later was the postmaster in St. Lucas until her government retirement in 2003 after 33 years of service. Lois continued as Waucoma city clerk for several more years.

After retiring, Lois provided childcare for her granddaughters, Alicia and Maria. She was always just a call away from Bonnie and enjoyed laughing and playing games with her grandkids, Connor, Caleb, & Alaina.

Lois especially loved working with elementary school children and taught CCD at St. Mary’s for 30 years. She was an active member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Court Queenship of Mary, for 50-plus years. Church activities were always a big part of family life.

Lois led the Eden Outer Limits 4-H Club for nearly 40 years, covering each of her daughters’ tenure in the organization, along with granddaughters Alicia and Maria. In 2021, Lois was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame for outstanding service and dedication.

Lois was constantly engaged in activities and on the go. On the rare occasion, she sat down, her hands were busy with hobbies like crocheting or sewing. She was a big crafter, always ready to try the latest creations and include her daughters, whether it was ceramics, cake decorating, or knitting.

Lois was also an avid reader, collecting many romance and mystery novels over the years. This also led to her service on the Waucoma Library Board and worked as a librarian and director for several years. Flo and Lois enjoyed playing cards and spent many years with their Euchre card club. They also had fun visiting their timeshare in Branson yearly, sharing good times with family and friends.

The years of hard work and arthritis took a toll on Lois’ body, requiring numerous back and neck surgeries, knee replacements, and shoulder and hip replacements. She also had open heart surgery in 2008 to repair an aortic aneurysm, which was luckily caught early. We know she must’ve been in much pain, but she didn’t complain and kept going.

Even as her mobility became impaired, she was busy until her last few years on this earth, when she was slowed down by both her body and mind as Alzheimer’s progressed. Lois was the perfect example of a servant’s heart who put others’ needs first throughout her lifetime. Toward the end, it was time for others to care for her. In her last year at home, Flo became her primary caregiver. She spent her final years in the caring hands of many fabulous nurses, caregivers, aids, and hospice workers at Hillcrest Home in Sumner.

Lois is survived by her husband of 59 years, Flo; daughters, Becky (Dave) Klimesh and Bonnie (Brett) Johnson, grandchildren, Alicia Klimesh, Connor Johnson, Maria Klimesh, Caleb Johnson and Alaina Johnson; her sister-in-law and husband, Ruth (Bob) Bily, niece, Joan (Greg) Sheridan; and nephew, Ron (Denise) Bily and their families.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Barbara (Schwickerath) Gebel; brother, Leon Gebel, and in-laws, Joe and Marie (Meinert) Langreck.

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