Lois G. Wills, age 85, of Kimball died Thursday, September 26, 2019 at Hilltop Heath Care Center in Watkins.
Memorial Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Kimball Christian Church. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Kimball with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral on Thursday at the church. Burial will follow the memorial service at Lake Union Cemetery near South Haven.
Lois Genevieve Wills was born January 20, 1934 in Kimball to Ruben and Ardis (Boire) Eckman. She was baptized at the Church of Christ in Kimball, graduated from Kimball High School with the Class of 1952, and studied design, fine art and fabrication at the University of Minnesota. On May 23, 1953, she was united in marriage to Kenneth Wills at the Kimball Church of Christ. They began their marriage living in Annandale for the first few years then moved to Bloomington to raise their family. In 1987, Lois & Ken moved back to Kimball at the Wills farmstead that her husband grew up in. Lois was an artist and artisan throughout her life. She sold her work at juried art shows, festivals and fairs, winning many awards and ribbons along the way. In the early 1960’s she was commissioned to do a painting for the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion that incorporated the state bird, tree and flower. Lois was also a former President of the Minnesota Artists Association and was part of a group of artists that was instrumental in starting the Uptown Art Fair. In the early 70’s she became a professional welder working at Rosemount Engineering and then Ritchie Engineering. Lois was one of only a few women welders of her time. In the late 70’s she became a gymnastics judge and traveled all around the metro area for meets and tournaments. Lois also helped Ken in design and drawing of plans for his home building business. Throughout all of this she continued her love of art and expanded her artistic talents to metal sculptures, Corten steel wind bells, wood carvings, jewelry making and dried floral arrangements including floral bouquets for weddings. She and Ken made a business of selling crafts at shows in several states and even at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Ken made wood crafts and Lois would paint and carve on them prior to selling. Lois also enjoyed fishing, hunting, cooking, gardening and reading. In her later years she earned the title of Master Gardener and wrote articles for the Sunshine Magazine. Lois saw the beauty in the outdoors and was blessed with the gift to share that beauty in her art. She was not afraid to try something new and was very energetic and passionate about her art work.
Lois is survived by her husband, Kenneth; daughters, Luanne (Gordon) Petersen of Andover and Bobbi (Jim) Corrigan of Eden Prairie; six grandchildren, Jason (Kari) and Chris Petersen, Ryan (Karen), Sean, Cameron (Patti) and Kelli Corrigan; four great-grandchildren, Ashley and Nicholas Petersen and Everly and Addison Corrigan; and brothers and sister, Richard Eckman of Kimball, Joanne (Don) Olson of Kimball and Robert (Arlene) Eckman of Montrose, CO. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister-in-law, Janet Eckman.
The Urn Bearers will be Jason Petersen, Ryan, Sean, Cameron and Kelli Corrigan. Pastor Kevin White will officiate. Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Kimball.
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