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Columbia Missourian

Lois Gerzen was a devoted Christian, traveler

By Emily Kolars
October 14, 2012 | 6:20 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Lois Gerzen was a devoted Christian who went to Parkade Baptist Church every Sunday.

"She went to Sunday School, period," her husband, John Gerzen, said. "The only time she didn't go was when there was nine feet of snow."


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Lois Evelyn Mae Gerzen of Columbia died Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, from pulmonary fibrosis. She was 84.

She was born July 30, 1928, in Pekin, Ill., to William and Savilla (Miller) Gash. 

Mrs. Gerzen graduated from Bloomington (Ill.) High School in 1946. She worked for State Farm Insurance in Bloomington and then for Shelter Insurance in Columbia. She belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of Union Veterans and spent many hours compiling the family genealogy.

She and John Gerzen were married for 65 years. The two loved to travel around the country and visited all 50 states. In the winters, they would make the trip to Texas to avoid the cold Missouri weather. 

But of all the places they visited, Mrs. Gerzen's favorite was always Yellowstone National Park for its diversity, John Gerzen said. Nothing else could compare for her, and she enjoyed it there more than anything, he said.

Whether Mrs. Gerzen was traveling, at church or keeping up the home, she enjoyed going to the Columbia Area Senior Center. She was active in activities there, spending three or four days a week playing cards or dominoes with friends.

Mrs. Gerzen is survived by her husband, John; three children, Debbie Fala of Baltimore, Md., Jerry Gerzen of Rocheport, and John B. Gerzen of Springfield; a sister, Donna Eades of New Hall, Calif.; eight grandchildren, Allison Tritt, Tony Fala, Kelly McCarville, Tessa Gerzen, Megan Gerzen, Alex Gerzen, Whitney Greenwell and Gareth Greenwell; and two great-granddaughters, Kensie McCarville and Abigail Tritt. 

A brother, Bert Gash, and a sister, Betty Dibble, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 E. with services following.

In place of flowers, Mrs. Gerzen requested donations to the Parkade Baptist Church Building Fund, 2102 N. Garth, Columbia, MO 65202. 

Tributes can be posted at