Lois Elizabeth (Niemi) Waara
Lois Elizabeth (Niemi) Waara, a keystone of the South Beach community for her kind conversation and skillful work on the piano keys, died on Nov. 21, 2022, at Harbor Regional Health Community Hospital in Aberdeen. She was 87.
Lois was born on April 16, 1935, to parents Charles and Marie (Beltonen) Niemi in Hancock, Michigan. Lois was raised in Marquette, Michigan, and later graduated from Graveraet High School in 1953.
After high school, she attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She obtained her BA in mathematics with certification to teach, and received a job offer at Aberdeen High School.
Lois made the move to the Harbor, and later met Wallace, “Wally,” whom she married on Sept. 12, 1959, in Lois’ hometown of Marquette, Michigan. The couple moved to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin for a short time, where Lois taught at the local high school, and Wally worked as an accountant. The couple later moved to Marquette, where both Lois and Wally attended Northern Michigan University to obtain their Master Degrees.
With their new degrees the couple moved to Raymond, where they both taught high school — Wally in South Bend and Lois in Raymond. In 1965, she and Wally bought a cranberry farm. They moved to Grayland and began farming full time as grower-owners of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.
Their son, Carl, was born April 14, 1970. At which time Lois ended her career as a teacher. Wally passed away on July 18, 2015. Their son, Carl, continues to run the family cranberry farm.
Lois was a business owner, a wife, a mother and a grandmother; but she was also a true volunteer. She became the pianist with Twin Harbors Lutheran Church beginning in the early 1970s, as well as teaching Sunday school and piano lessons for many years. She was a member of the Ocosta School Board for over two decades and was on the Ocosta Foundation Board since its inception in 1985. She participated in the readers group at Timberland Regional Library, and organized summer gatherings for her graduating class each summer. Lois spent her time reading, playing piano, singing, and talking on the phone with friends and family all around the country.
Even after 50 years in the South Beach her heart was happiest at her cabin in Marquette, on the shore of Lake Superior. Each summer, she would pack up and spend quality time with her family in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Every year as the car turned into the cabin’s forested driveway she would sigh and say, “I’m home.”
Lois is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Wallace Waara, and her parents.
Lois is survived by her son, Carl Waara and his wife Liisa, of Grayland, and her only grandson, Evan.
A memorial service will be held Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Twin Harbors Lutheran Church.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 520 Pike St., Ste. 1075, Seattle, WA 98101 or Twin Harbors Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 490, Grayland, WA 98547.
If you wish to leave a memory or note of condolence for the family, please visit http://www.fernhillfuneral.com. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home, in Aberdeen.