Lois Jean (Christensen) Earley

Lois Jean (Christensen) Earley, of Traer, Iowa, passed away on August 31, 2022, at Sunrise Hill Care Center due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born on October 24, 1942, she was the daughter of Harold Martin Christensen and Elsie Amanda (Haack) Christensen. Lois grew up on a farm southwest of Traer and graduated as Valedictorian from Traer High School in 1960. She attended Iowa State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education in July 1963. On August 7, 1963, she married Keith Frank Earley. They made their home on his family farm southwest of Traer and moved to Sunrise Hill Assisted Living Suites in April of 2013.

Lois taught Home Economics at Dinsdale Schools for 3 years, then raised her family and helped Keith farm. She worked as a substitute teacher for many years at North Tama and South Tama Schools.

Lois was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker and caregiver. She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She was a wonderful cook and tended a huge garden every year. She froze and canned hundreds of pints of fruits and vegetables every summer to feed her family for the coming year (her precisely cut green beans were legendary). Lois was never idle. She kept busy with crafts and needlework, quilting, reading and sewing. Her family wore countless shirts and outfits that she made.

Lois was a member of Ripley United Church of Christ in Traer, where she was a Sunday School teacher and member of the Women’s Fellowship Group. She created many banners for the church and could often be found behind the scenes serving and cleaning. She also served as a 4-H leader for many years.

Survivors include her husband, Keith; two children, Diane (Jon) Panfil and Mark (Suzanne) Earley, both of Traer; four grandchildren: Benjamin Panfil, of Peoria, IL, William Earley and Joseph Earley, of Waterloo, IA, and Lucy Panfil, of West Des Moines, IA; one brother, Dale (Jeannine) Christensen, of Fremont, NE, and nieces, Andrea (Scott) Wagner, of Fremont, NE and Mandi Christensen, of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her nephew Bryce Christensen.

Lois will be remembered for her sewing and crafting skills, her wonderful cooking, and her selflessness towards others. She was extremely organized and believed everything belonged in its proper place. She was always thinking about and taking care of others, usually quietly in the background with no recognition or fanfare. Lois was an extremely private person who never wanted anyone to know her business, so she would have hated this obituary.

The visitation was on Friday, September 9, 2022, from 4 to 7 PM, at Overton Funeral Home in Traer. The funeral was on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 10:30 AM, at Ripley United Church of Christ. The burial will follow at Buckingham Cemetery. Everyone is invited to a luncheon at the church following the burial.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Traer Public Library Foundation or to the Alzheimer’s Association.