Lois Bedker, 92, La Crosse, Wis.

Published 9:10 am Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lois Elaine Bedker (nee Kellom), 92, died Sunday, April 21, 2013, at Bethany-St. Joseph’s Care Center in La Crosse, Wis., of complications from a brain tumor. She had moved from Decorah, Iowa, in 2012 to be near her daughter. Prior to living in Decorah she lived for 30 years in Geneva and for 15 years in Albert Lea.

Lois Bedker

Lois Bedker

Lois was born March 6, 1921, in Trenton Township, Dodge County, Wis., to Roy and Alma (Albrecht) Kellom. She attended Boomer School. She worked as a switchboard telephone operator in various Wisconsin cities in the 1940s and early 1950s. She married the love of her life, Miles P. Bedker on Nov. 10, 1951, at the Assembly Presbyterian Church in Beaver Dam, Wis. They had four children. In 1956, they moved to Albert Lea. Lois worked for a while as a cafeteria helper at Northside School. She was an early member of the Heart of the Artichoke gift shop. She eventually opened her own antique business.

Lois will be remembered for her fondness of pretty things whether they be family heirlooms, bits of glass or pottery or flowers and plants in her garden. She never met a cat or a dog she didn’t like, and over the years many animals realized they won the lottery when she took them under her care. She helped her children care for a menagerie of pets including turtles, lizards, parakeets and one salamander. She was only intolerant of snakes and possums. Never one for casual social relationships, she enjoyed and treasured many deep and meaningful friendships. In later years she cared for her mother, Alma, and her sister, Helen, with skill, determination and love. Although these responsibilities kept her tied close to home, she considered the First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea her home church where in earlier years she had taught Sunday school and served as a Deacon. She read her Bible and prayed often.

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Services will be held at the Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam at 11 a.m. Thursday with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Beaver Dam.

Lois is survived by her son, Paul Philip Bedker and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Meredith Bedker Musaus, Menomonee Falls, Wis.; her daughter, Jenifer Jo Mahany and her husband Doug Mahany, La Crosse, and her children Jessica Mangskau and Zachary Mangskau; son, Peter John Bedker and his wife Julie (Carlson) Bedker of Buffalo and their children Alexander Bedker, Samantha Bedker and Emily Bedker. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Lea (Bedker) and her husband, Bob Merrill; and sister-in-law, Beverly (Leismann) Bedker; as well as many nieces, nephews and others.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Miles, in 1972; daughter, Rebecca in 1956; father, Roy Kellom; mother, Alma (Albrecht) Kellom; brother, Edward Kellom and his wife Ethel (Knutson); brother, Glenn Kellom and his wife Carol (Koch); and sister Helen Kellom. She was also preceded in death by her father- and mother-in-law Oscar and Helen (Opitz) Bedker; sister-in-law, Ruth (Bedker) and husband Norb Wimmer;  brothers-in-law, Robert and wife Edith (Carp) Bedker, Kenneth and wife Darlyene (Borgen) Bedker and John Bedker; special cousin, Phoebe (Kellom) Jennings; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and others.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the local animal shelter of choice in her honor.

The Murray Funeral Home, 131 East Maple Ave. in Beaver Dam, is caring for the family. To leave condolences, for directions, or for other information, please visit its website at www.murrayfh.com.