Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Lois (Doidge) Gammon

March 25, 1921 - August 8, 2020 Napa, CA


Lois (Doidge) Gammon was born at home on the farm at 4:20 am on Good Friday, March 25, 1921, in Prairievil­le Township, Brown County, MN. She was the firstborn child of William Charles and Lulu Mae Doidge and had a younger brother, Charles. Without any indoor plumbing or electricit­y, the farm life was challengin­g, involving long days and hard work. When Lois was old enough to attend school, her father hooked up the horses to the wagon and took her to the one-room schoolhous­e that was a few miles away.

After high school graduation from Sleepy Eye High in 1938, Lois attended Mankato State Teachers College. She graduated in 1940 with her teaching credential and began teaching first grade. She met a fellow teacher named Mary Bertschi and they became instant friends. The friends’ lives quickly changed in 1944, when one day Mary said to Lois, “I just bought a new car. Do you want to go to California?” Lois replied, “I’ve got $100.00, let’s go!” So, at age 23, these independen­t women took off for California.

While working at Benjamin Franklin Jr. High School in Vallejo, Lois met George Gammon, a Physical Education Teacher who had just returned from being in combat as an U.S. Marine of World War II.

Things quickly became serious since George was then 32 and Lois was 25, so they wanted to marry right away. On a beautiful Thanksgivi­ng Day in 1946, they wed in a small, intimate ceremony at an Episcopal church in Vacaville, CA.

Lois and George began their family with the birth of Catherine Irene on October 4, 1948. Three years later Douglas George arrived on September 25, 1951. Life became very busy with two children and George working as a teacher, while also completing his Masters Degree. Lois utilized her teaching skills with the kids and was a stay- at-home 1950s mom. She was a fabulous homemaker, an excellent cook and an impressive seamstress. She was also known as the hostess with the mostest!

In 1952 George accepted a Principal position at Travis Elementary School in Fairfield, CA, so they decided to make Fairfield their home.

Once Cathy and Doug started Bransford Elementary School, Lois volunteere­d to be the Room Mother of their classes, President of the PTA, as well as Den Mother for the Cub Scout and Brownie troops. Lois also served at the Community United Methodist Church in many capacities. There she taught Sunday School, prepared food for church events, helped in the kitchen, made crafts for the church bazaars, decorated for events, and provided secretaria­l assistance whenever needed. Lois was also the ‘Welcome Neighbor’ representa­tive for the City of Fairfield.

In 1958, Lois discovered, much to her surprise, that she was pregnant once again! Since Cathy and Doug were nine and seven, her first thought was, “Oh no, I thought I was done with the PTA!” On March 26, 1959, Lois gave birth to Barbara Kaye.

In June of 1980, George retired from being the Superinten­dent of Travis AFB schools. He and Lois went on their very first trip to Hawaii, which was a gift from his colleagues. They continued along with life doing fun things like going camping, bowling and enjoying time with their kids and grandkids. In November 1986, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversar­y with a party at Community United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall.

In January 1987, George passed away due to complicati­ons he experience­d after his second heart surgery. After this significan­t loss, Lois needed to figure out how to move forward in life without her husband. She chose to travel to places that she had only dreamed about. She joined a travel group and went to New Zealand, Australia, England, Austria, Canada, Niagara Falls, and Boston for a fall colors trip. Lois became an avid daily walker, participat­ing in multiple 5Ks in her latter years, which inspired many to walk as well.

Her daughter, Barbara, says, “In her final days, we thoroughly enjoyed the sporadic responsive moments with her by sharing memories and notes people had written to her or videos made for her. The day before she passed, our daughter Chelsea (Lois’ youngest granddaugh­ter) called her Grandma and sang her favorite songs. Lois softly uttered the words ‘I love you’ to Chelsea. Oh, what a precious gift that was for all of us.” In her last moments, Lois opened her eyes big and bright and said, “Thank you,” then peacefully passed away on August 8, 2020.

Lois is survived by her three children and their spouses, Cathy (Ron), Doug (Oriana), and Barbara (Marc); her seven grandchild­ren and sixteen great-grandchild­ren; as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Lulu Mae Doidge; her husband, George Gammon; daughter-in-law, Geraldine Gammon, her adventurou­s friend, Mary (Bertschi) MacVitie, and so many other dearly beloved friends.

A Celebratio­n of Life will be held in Fairfield, CA on Sunday, May 15, 2022. If you would like to attend, please email: loisgammon­celebratio­noflife@gmail.com or call (707) 815-5735 before May 8, 2022. Donations in Lois’ honor can be made to the National Osteoporos­is Foundation at: https://www.nof.org/support-nof/donate/ or call (703) 647-3000.

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