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Lois Gorby - Class Of 1931

Lois Gorby, recently of the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, formerly of Carthage, died Sunday, September 13, 2015, just five weeks before her 102nd birthday.

Born in Kenosha, WI, Lois graduated from the Grant Hospital School of Nursing at Chicago.  While in Chicago, she met John W. Gorby, a young Chicago attorney, in the Drake Hotel at his fraternity gathering. They were married May 12, 1938. Shortly thereafter they moved to Carthage.

Lois spent most of her life in Carthage, where she served for many years as the director of nursing and later as the acting administrator of Carthage Memorial Hospital.  

She was actively involved in the life of the Presbyterian Church and in many community affairs, including PEO, a charitable women's organization, for which she held many offices, including its presidency.  She also served as president of PTA during her children's school years, was a fearless campaigner during her husband's judicial elections and an enthusiastic member of several bridge groups.  Despite these many responsibilities and commitments, she felt her most important mission was to be a cheerleader for her children throughout all phases of their lives.  

When Lois was 83, she moved into the Presbyterian Homes with some hesitation because, as she put it: "Did you see all those gray heads? I just don't belong there."  Upon inquiry, she learned she was seven years older than the average resident at the Presbyterian Home.  She adjusted quickly, threw herself into her new home, drove all over the country until her early 90s, traveled to Europe, participated in lectures, group discussions, singing groups and other activities, was a master of trivia contests, and recently hoped to resurrect her former skills at the piano.  She particularly enjoyed her many and long discussions with the young chaplain interns at the Presbyterian Homes.  She served as president of the Residents' Council until she was over 100. The nursing staff often referred to her as the "Director of Nursing," a title from her past that the staff found fitting and she found amusing.

Proud of her Swedish ancestry, the door to her room welcomed visitors with a hearty "Välkommen," and she often referred to herself as a "svenska flicka" (Swedish girl).

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Judge John W. Gorby; a grandson, Scott; and a sister, Carol.

She is survived by a son, Jack Gorby and his wife, Laura Luc Gorby, of Chicago; a daughter, Barbara Ancelet-Black and her husband, Steve Black, of Quincy; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and beloved nieces.

A memorial service for Lois was held at the Presbyterian Homes, Evanston. A private burial took place at Moss Ridge Cemetery at Carthage.


Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from September 17-19, 2015