Lois R. Irvin


Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2001

Homer resident Lois R. Irvin died Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001, from heart failure at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. She was 82.

Memorial services were held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Irvin was born May 2, 1919, in Colville, Wash. She was the daughter of Charles and Cora (Sanders) Rhode. She grew up in Colville, where her father managed a fish hatchery and a game farm. Her mother was a substitute teacher. The youngest of six children, she grew up in a family full of music, books and community activities.

Mrs. Irvin worked at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., in the 1940s. She married in 1944 and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and confined to a wheelchair or bed intermittently for several years. Her husband died in 1964, and her mother had a stroke three months later. For six years, she cared for her mother in a convalescent hospital. She came to Alaska shortly after her mother's death in 1972 to visit her cousins Leo and Cecil Rhode and eventually made Alaska her home. Her three bothers were also longtime Alaska residents. She resided in Homer and also lived in Juneau during the legislative sessions.

Mrs. Irvin was a member of the Methodist and Lutheran churches. She volunteered for many different service boards including the chamber of commerce, Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, local election board and the South Peninsula Hospital board. She also worked with Sen. Frank Murkowski and Rep. Don Young and took part in many other community activities. She was voted as Homer's Citizen of the Year in 1981.

The family said, "Because she wanted to repay the caring and help she had received, she has tried to pass this on to others in her years here. She was always helping the community in any way needed."

Mrs. Irvin is survived by her sister, Charl Rhode of California; cousins Leo Rhode of Homer and David Rhode of Cooper Landing; niece, Sally Hunter of Olympia, Wash.; grand-niece Lindsay Hunter of Seattle, Wash.; and many friends in Alaska especially Linda and Jim Holbeck, former residents of Homer, who now live in Chewelah, Wash., and Jean Mack ,who helped to represent family during Lois' recent illness.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the American Lung Association, 500 W. International Airport Rd., Suite A, Anchorage, AK 99518, or to the Homer Volunteer Fire Dept., 604 E. Pioneer Ave., Homer, AK 99603.

Arrangements were by the Homer Funeral Home.

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