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Mrs. Lois Eberlee

Lois Marie Eberlee (nee Shaw) died peacefully in her home at St. Andrew’s in Chatham, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 in her 94th year. Lois lost her loving husband of 72 years, Charles “Ross” Eberlee in September 2020 and leaves a son, David and wife Amy of Simcoe, Ontario. Lois was born August 8, 1927 daughter of Ethel and Merton Shaw of Blenheim, and sister to Harvey and Harry. Lois grew up in Blenheim where her parents ran local fuel and later coal and ice businesses that supported the area. She described her childhood years as difficult. It was depression times and at three years old she lost her six-year-old brother, Harry, to diptheria, which she also had but survived. Her high school years were during the War and all the young men of Blenheim were gone to battle. Lois was a studious young girl and excelled in education. She was also a talented young figure skater and tennis player. Her first job outside the family business was at the town’s grocery store where she was a cashier. She used to say that it opened her eyes to see the generosity of the owner when he helped families who were unable to pay for their food. Lois remembered saving enough money from her job to purchase a store-bought dress, one that wasn’t homemade. With the War just ending, Lois was enrolled at Chatham Business College, where she met a handsome sailor who just returned home and was starting his business studies as well. Lois’s endeavors earned her a position at the Bank of Montreal in Chatham where she advanced to the position of Bank Manager’s Stenographer. She loved that job. Lois married her love, Ross, in 1948. Times were more prosperous, and women were back home starting families, but Lois wanted to keep her job and worked for 10 years before son David came along. At that time, Ross was working for Sunnen Products, they bought their first home on Queen Street (they later moved across the road where Lois was known as the “Goose Lady”, outfitting a cement lawn ornament routinely as a Detroit Red Wing, RCMP, and even as a Christmas tree that lights up) and they bought their first car. Weekends were spent with family out on a Chatham Township farm they operated jointly with Ross’s brother-in-law Harold Roach growing corn and beans. Soon the farm was too much work and Ross was “encouraged” to find another sideline. What would later become The Chatham Decorating Centre was acquired, partnered with Gordon Pritchard. Lois was the bookkeeper, landlady and the creative eye on buying trips. Lois loved to travel. The Eberlees flew over 20 times across the ocean, 17 to Great Britain. As well, they car travelled across Canada and throughout the U.S. Easter and Leaf-Peeping Season were favourite times of family travel in Ontario and Northern U.S., especially through Wellington County, Ontario and the Finger Lake District, New York. Lois was the heart of the home, supporting her two men with unconditional love. Before the phrase ‘Hockey Mom’ was coined, Lois was driving David and friends to golf courses all across Southern Ontario. And Lois enjoyed supporting her son’s interests, buying sports equipment, and sending him to hockey camps because it was something he loved. Dave feels very blessed to have had Ross and Lois as his parents. The Eberlees were members of the Chatham Baptist Church where Lois was involved with the missionary endeavours, bookkeeping and secretarial duties to the ladies’ groups. She was a member of the Flora Campbell Auxiliary at the Public General Hospital for many years. Lois enjoyed the fun times with these ladies – planning dinners, concerts, dressing up, performing skits, and finding creative ways to fundraise for the hospital. Lois’s memories of her childhood times may have been the impetus for her, and Ross’s, philanthropy. They believed in supporting their Chatham Community: Church, Rotary, Hospital, Cultural Centre, Library, and Chatham-Kent Community Foundation. Lifelong friendships came from Lois’s work at the Bank, her Church and involvement in the community initiatives she supported as well as from Ross’s membership with Rotary and their time spent with the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation. Lois and Ross had many good friends, too many to start naming, however, one group of friends is easily recalled: WEPT. The Whittingtons, Eberlees, Pritchards and Todghams were great friends that also kept a regular schedule of bridge games. The order of hosting went W-E-P-T for many decades!  For the past six years, Lois and Ross have made their home at St. Andrew’s Residence in Chatham. There they reunited with life-long community residents that connected as far back as Boy Scouts and public school. The employees of the residence also became friends. Lois routinely inquired about their children and family and cared about them. Lois was always appreciative of the help and support she received, saying “thank you” and “you’re a good girl”.  Well Mom, you were the Best Girl.

This tribute has been written to remember Lois in lieu of a funeral eulogy. The family will be having a private service due to the restrictions currently in place with the pandemic. An Interment ceremony is being planned for later this summer; at which time we can lay Lois to her final rest with Ross. The Interment ceremony will be announced on the funeral home website and in the newspaper.  Arrangements entrusted to the Alexander & Houle Funeral Home, 245 Wellington St. West, Chatham, 519-352-2710.  If you would like to make a memorial donation, please consider the Chatham Rotary Club or the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation – Ross and Lois Eberlee Fund as recipients.  On-line condolences may be left at www.alexanderfuneralhome.ca 

Private Family Funeral Service

Interment Ceremony: To be announced at a later date.

Expressions of Sympathy: Chatham Rotary Club or the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation – Ross and Lois Eberlee Fund as recipients.




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N7M 1J9

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