Lois Butts Britton, 88, of Baker City, died June 23, 2002, at Gillette, Wyo., after a long illness.
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Her graveside funeral was at 1 p.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Lura Kidner-Miesen of the Baker City United Methodist Church and Lynn Shumway of Burnt River officiated.
There was a memorial service Tuesday at the New Life Wesleyan Church at Gillette, Wyo. Pastor Gary Maness officiated.
Lois Victoria Wilson was born on Aug. 27, 1913, at Richland to Victor and Mary Simonis Wilson. She attended Sunnyside School in a two-room schoolhouse. She and her younger brother, Joe, would walk the three miles to the schoolhouse and build the fire before the others arrived.
She graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1932. During her childhood, the family spent summers at sheep camp in the Eagle Mountains. They built their beds on the ground and spent the time picking huckleberries. Her mother then canned enough berries to last until the next summer.
She married John Holbrook on Feb. 22, 1934. They lived at mining camps in Idaho where he worked. During that time, Lois ran her own pack string, carrying supplies to the mines.
In 1941, she separated from John and moved to Baker City with her infant son, Ron. While in Baker, City she worked to support herself and her young son. She served as head tax collector for Baker County from 1943 to 1945.
She married Albert Butts of Hereford on Sept. 17, 1945. They lived on several ranches in the Burnt River Valley. Their daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1949. Lois enjoyed the many aspects of farm life, as well as hunting and camping.
In 1958, she and Albert sold their ranch and bought the Hereford Store. They ran the store and restaurant until selling it in 1970. She then worked at the Hereford Post Office, where she soon was appointed postmaster, a position she held until her retirement in 1980.
After Albert’s death in 1986, Lois moved to eastern Wyoming to be close to her family. She married Chuck Britton on May 22, 1989, and moved to Baker City. For several years they enjoyed spending winters in Arizona and summers in Oregon and Wyoming.
She led a very active life and was always ready for anything. Many of her adventures took place after she was 50 years old. She learned to ride a bike, a motorcycle, a snowmobile, to ice skate and to roller skate while in her 50s.
Her family and friends were important to her, and she loved visiting, talking and teasing with all people. Laughing was a major part of her life. She liked to play practical jokes and to have them played on her.
Her activities included quilting, crocheting, crafts and bingo. She especially loved pinochle and spent the last few months of her life teaching her grandchildren and most of her great-grandchildren how to play the card game.
Survivors include her husband, Chuck Britton of Baker City; brothers, Joe Wilson and his wife, Ada, of White Bird, Idaho, and Harold Wilson and his wife, Susan, of Gooding, Idaho; sisters, Anita Smith, and her husband, Hoot, of Riggins, Idaho, and Erma Guyer of Boise; sons and their wives, Ron and Beverly Holbrook of Gillette, Wyo., Howard and Sandee Britton of Baker City and Harold and Judy Britton of Hillsboro; daughters Phyllis Colpitts, and her husband, Ken, of Gillette, Wyo., Betty Braswell of Baker City and Evelyn Plankinton and her husband, John, of Menlo Park, Calif.; 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Albert; and brothers, Lester, Frederick and Edward.
Memorial contributions may be made to Northwest Wyoming Hospice in care of Stevenson-Wilson Funeral Home, 210 W. Fifth St., Gillette, Wyo. 82716, or to Pathway Hospice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 5, 2002
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor