Madison - Lois Ruth (Swart) Menninga, age 88, of Madison, formerly of Mifflin, passed away on September 25, 2022, at St. Mary’s Hospital. She was born October 7, 1933, to John and Grace (Rynders) Swart, at her grandparents’ home in Chicago, Illinois.
Lois valued her connection to her church. She was brought up in the First Christian Reformed Church in Roseland, a Chicago neighborhood. After the family moved to the Mifflin area, she was a member of the Mifflin Primitive Methodist Church. After that church closed, she became a member of the Rewey United Methodist Church. Lois was the church organist for all of the Mifflin and Rewey years.
Lois married Alvin Menninga in 1952, and together they raised eight children: Grace, Ethel, Ruth, Patti, Anne, Janet, Alvin, and Becky. They originally lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while Alvin finished college. Then they lived in Sheboygan and the old schoolhouse in Mifflin.
Lois devoted her life to raising her children. She made her own bread, played organ in church, read numerous library books, sang in the Homemaker’s Chorus, coached the Rewey 5th grade girls volleyball team, tended a large vegetable garden, and then canned and froze its produce. Her many flower beds showed off tulips, phlox, peonies, bleeding hearts, lilacs, lily-of-the-valley, and many more. She had many houseplants: philodendrons, African violets, the Hoya, the monster plant, and others.
Lois encouraged her children to get good grades in school and go on to college. She encouraged them to play the piano and band instruments. There was a lot of music in her house! The TV did not go on in the evening until all the children had done their music practicing!
Lois got her college degree in Secondary Education in 1979 from Platteville. She was a substitute teacher in the Iowa-Grant school district near Livingston. She also had part-time jobs at the Mineral Point Democrat-Tribune newspaper, the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, and Land’s End in Dodgeville. She self-published eight fiction books.
Preceding her in death is an infant son, a granddaughter, her parents, and her second husband, Curt Carlson. Surviving her are eight children, 26 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, two sisters, four brothers, and her 1st husband, the father of her children, Alvin Menninga.
A Memorial Service will be held to celebrate Lois’ life on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at the COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 326 South Segoe Rd, Madison, Wisconsin, at 11:00 am. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rewey United Methodist Church or the Livingston Public Library.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road