Lois Elizabeth Chaffin, age 95, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, October 1, 2021, at her home in Waseca.
She was born July 28, 1926, to Edgar F. Johnson and F. Ethel Johnson and was a resident of Waseca for the greater part of her life. Lois graduated from Waseca High School, attended Stephens College in Missouri, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in physical education. She debated between two job offers, one from a local school and another from Southwest Missouri State. As fate would have it, the local school’s phone was busy when she called to accept, so she took the job in Missouri.
It was there she met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Chaffin, a high school teacher and basketball coach. Lois and Bob were married at the First Congregational Church in Waseca on December 23, 1950. Coincidently, the church burned down soon after their ceremony. They joked that it was a sign from God, and it must have been a good sign. Lois and Bob celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last December, and they could still be seen holding hands, smiling, and exchanging tender words.
A few years after their marriage, Lois and Bob returned to Waseca, where Bob was employed at the E. F. Johnson Company and Lois became a homemaker and mother extraordinaire. She was an active community member, teaching Sunday school (in the newly built church); leading Girl Scout troops; hosting homecoming float building; creating scholarships for Waseca students; supporting local emergency responders, the Waseca Historical Society, and many other worthy causes.
Lois was a gracious lady. She truly knew what it meant to be a thoughtful stranger, a kind acquaintance, and a good friend. She cared, she listened and remembered, she laughed and cried with those dear to her, and she never forgot a birthday or special occasion. And she was blessed in return with the best friends anyone could ask for.
Lois was also blessed with a loving family that she cherished. She was preceded in death by her daughter Candy Chaffin Rinowski, sister Shirley Anderson, parents Edgar and Ethel Johnson, granddaughter Carlee Russell, and nephew John Reid Forsman. She is survived by her husband Bob and daughter Nancy Chaffin Russell both of Waseca; son-in-law Joseph Rinowski of Bloomington; eight grandchildren and their significant others, Molly and Andrew Olsen, Whitney Rinowski and her fiancé Bryan Pierick, Marissa and Nicholas Beauchamp, Abby Rinowski and her fiancé Nik Randall, Danny and Johanna Russell, Alex Russell and his fiancé Sandra Estep, Anastasia Russell, and Tatiana Russell; and three great-grandchildren, Zoey and Delaney Olsen, and Clara Russell, who was born on Lois’s 94th birthday.
The family is sincerely grateful for the outpouring of kindness that has been shown to them during this time. They will be holding a private gathering in memory of Lois.