LANCASTER - Lois Mae (Kirschbaum) Vorwald, age 95, of Lancaster, was born on October 16, 1928, the fifth child of Gerhardt J. and Dolly Ruth (Cadwell) Kirschbaum in rural Cassville, Wis. She peacefully passed away on November 1, 2023, lovingly surrounded by her family while receiving care from St. Croix Hospice and caregivers at Morningside Assisted Living in Lancaster, Wis.
Lois attended Cassville schools, and her close-knit family moved often and lived on various farms in the area. She graduated from Cassville High School in 1948. Upon her graduation, at the age of 17, she bravely headed to Chicago on the train after accepting a secretary position at the Technical Institute of Independent Biscuit Manufacturers. Lois loved the big city life but after 18 months, she returned to her small-town roots. She worked 3 years as the society editor for the Grant County Independent and then worked for the Federal Land Bank.
Lois loved to attend dances and she married one of her favorite dance partners, Virgil Vorwald on May 31, 1952. They farmed for 38 years on the Vorwald family farm near Bloomington and raised three children. Once the children were older, Lois returned to work in Lancaster as the Deputy Clerk of Courts at the Grant County Courthouse, then transitioned to her position as bailiff until 2011. She enjoyed working with the jurors and she was well known for bringing her homemade baked goods for the jurors to enjoy.
Lois and Virgil retired from the farm in 1990 and moved to Lancaster. They both enjoyed playing bridge, travel to visit family and friends, planting a large vegetable garden, going on annual outings to pick blueberries and apples and cheering for the Badgers. Lois had a passion for baking and cooking and was a gracious hostess as she provided an abundance of food for family and guests. Another favorite interest of hers was attending auctions and estate sales to add to her collections. Her competitive nature made the auctions quite exciting for her! She also volunteered at the hospital gift shop, worked at the gift shop at the Sinsinawa Retreat Center and was on the City of Lancaster Variance Committee for many years. She was recognized and received the Women in History Award for Grant County. In her retirement years she took lessons and became an accomplished china painter and shared many of her lovely plates with friends.
Faith and service were important to Lois. She was a member of St. Clement Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of America, and Christian Mothers. She was part of the farm neighborhood Study Club that met for 65 years as these strong women supported each other in their friendships and faith.
The hardships of Lois’ early life during the depression and having 3 brothers in the armed services, shaped her to be a resilient, kind and generous woman. She exemplified the kind of goodness that cares for those around her. She had a curiosity and love for learning, was an avid book reader and enjoyed the daily newspaper. She looked forward to endless games of Scrabble with her family and played well into her nineties. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
Survivors include her children: Ron (Kris) Vorwald, Mary (Leo) Diehl, and Virginia “Ginny” Vorwald; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Marcia Kirschbaum, Bae Ruth Kirschbaum, Joanne Kirschbaum, and Barb Vorwald; first cousin: Judy (Maynard) Behnke; nieces and nephews, other relatives, friends, and special neighbors: Norbert and Charlene Schildgen.
In addition to her parents, Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil; four brothers: La Verne, Walter (Donna Mae), Norman and Raymond Kirschbaum; three sisters: Carol in childhood, Dorothy (Don) Frederick and Florence (Gerald) Schildgen; three brothers-in-law: Robert “Bob”, Harry “Bud” (Norma), and Larry (Joan) Vorwald; and a sister-in-law: Helen (Leo) Muench.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Clement Catholic Church in Lancaster with Father Mark Miller officiating, followed by a luncheon in the church dining hall. Family and friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Burial will be in the Dodge Cemetery, Beetown Township. In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials may be given to St. Clement Catholic Grade School, 330 W. Maple St. Lancaster, Wis. 53813, or St. Croix Hospice, 115 W. Main St. Platteville, Wis. 53818. Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is assisting the family.
Lois’s family wants to extend their deepest appreciation to the wonderful staff at Morningside Assisted Living for their exceptional care and to St. Croix Hospice for the comfort and care they provided in the last weeks of her life.