Lois Kirtland Lovett passed away Saturday morning, September 28 at 93 years old. She was born August 6, 1926 in Bemidji, MN.
She graduated from Littlefork High School in 1944 where she was a cheerleader and worked at the local drug store.
She married Leo Johnson in 1949 in Littlefork and then moved to St. Paul, MN. Lois and Leo moved to Arizona in 1963 to raise their family.
She considered education the cornerstone to her life. She took care of her sick husband, raised her 3 daughters while driving a Scottsdale Unified School District school bus to support her family while going to college. Leo passed in December 1971.
Lois graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University. Just 3 years later, she received her Master of Arts in Indian Education, also from Arizona State.
In 1973, she married DJ Lovett and became a stepmother to his two daughters, Kathy and Diane.
As a retired teacher she found she could not stay away from the classroom for long. She became an Arizona certified Cultural Concept Development Professional for the Tempe Elementary School District and formed the initial Indian Culture Program in the early 1970s.
She became a professional storyteller and her program of Native American legends and folk tales were carefully chosen to help children appreciate literature, nature and our common past. Her interactive performances using puppetry, song and dance are still remembered to this day by hundreds of children across the state.
She was a substitute teacher for several decades and became a tireless advocate for substitute teacher’s pay – fighting to raise their daily wages.
Lois was a proud American; she loved this country, its flag and all it represented. She was married to two veterans and was a proud member of the American Legion Woman’s Auxiliary for many years.
Lois was a devout Catholic and was a founding member of Saint Maria Goretti Church, sitting in the same pew every Sunday year after year. She was a member of the Franciscan Order and an active member of the Women’s Guild where she is famous for her delicious baked goods and deviled eggs.
She devoted much of her life to helping improve the lives of those less fortunate. Her and husband DJ spent every holiday season since 1977 collecting and delivering food and gifts to families in need in Guadalupe, Arizona. The Guadalupe Outreach program she founded continues to this day.
Her smile was infectious, she was a popular member of the community, and was known for her quick wit, colorful ensembles with matching shoes and handbag, and was always ready to brag about her grandchildren to anyone who would listen.
Lois adored her younger sister, Patricia Stelton. She was a beloved aunt, cousin and friend.
She was a loving mother to her four daughters and their husbands: Peggy and Terry Thevenot, Julie and Robert Calta, Kathy and Bob Curran, Bonnie and Michael Anderson.
She was the perfect grandmother to her seven grandchildren: Erin Sim, Michelle DiDomenico, Amanda Thevenot, Danny Curran, Kellie Griffin, Bonnie Calta and Tristan Anderson. She was a treasured great-grandmother to Lauren Taylor, Roxanne Taylor, Grace DiDomenico, James Griffin, Audrey DiDomenico, Perry Thevenot and Judah Griffin.
Greeting Lois in Heaven are her parents Henry and Margaret Kirtland; her first husband Leo Johnson; her second husband DJ Lovett; her brother Bill Kirtland; her daughter Diane Lovett and her grandson, Andy Curran.
Visitation will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. at Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 6261 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lois Lovett Guadalupe Outreach Fund via the GoFundMe account at: https://www.gofundme.com/lois-lovett-memorial-guadalupe-outreach or send checks payable to Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church, Attn: Guadalupe Outreach, Robert Calta, 6261 N. Granite Reef Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.