Lois Romer Poorman
Lois Romer Poorman, age 95, passed away on Friday, October 14, 2016 at Concordia Village Senior Living Center. She was born on March 1, 1921, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Leon and Myra Romer. Lois grew up in Kansas City with her cherished sisters Marie and Bette. Lois was graduated from Avila University in Kansas City with a bachelor’s degree and her secondary teacher certification. After working for the federal government as a legal assistant during World War II and taking courses at the University of Missouri Law School, Lois and her sister Marie took teaching positions at Center High School in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where Lois taught History and English. There, Lois, the toast of the town, was wooed and won by Robert “Bob” Poorman, a fellow teacher. As Bob sought advanced degrees and opportunities, Lois moved her family from Phoenix, Arizona, to Bakersfield, California, to Springfield, Illinois, giving birth to seven children of whom six survived infancy. Lois supported Bob in his endeavors and was a consummate hostess, opening her home to guests of Lincoln Land Community College where Bob was the founding president. Lois enjoyed her responsibilities as chair of the Faculty Wives Club and enjoyed even more the duplicate bridge games where she was a highly sought after partner. Not many people knew that Lois played master’s level bridge and was still a force to be reckoned with well into her 80s.
Lois loved to travel and packed up the kids in a succession of cars and campers for scenic trips. She especially loved our national parks, citing Bryce and Zion as favorites. Bob’s career took him to Hawaii and Florida as guest professor and Lois was delighted to explore new territory. Later Lois traveled with Bob on his Fulbright fellowships to China, Lithuania, and Ukraine. While Bob taught classes on college administration, Lois taught English as a second language and had adventures making a home and roaming the area, delighting in the architecture, arts, music, and people. Lois was intrepid and ventured out with curiosity and interest. She said, “I just ask. Everyone wants to help.” Lois became a collector of regional arts and crafts and returned to Springfield after each trip with china, embroidered cloth, bags, candlestick holders, and figurines. She became a sought-after speaker and used her collection to illustrate her talks about her travels.
Christ the King was Lois’s home parish and where she often attended daily Mass. Lois prayed the Rosary each day and it was so much a part of her spiritual day that during her final illness she could often be seen moving her lips in silent prayer. She frequently joined the Altar and Rosary Society when a member led the Rosary before Mass, and she sang in the funeral choir.
Most of all, Lois loved her family. Whether it was laughing over memories with her sisters, cooking sumptuous holiday meals and playing cutthroat Trivial Pursuit with her grown children, or joining in an Easter egg hunt with her five grandchildren, Lois was in her element when family surrounded her. Family Notre Dame football weekends and cheering on the Fighting Irish made her eyes sparkle. Lois is survived by her loving husband of 67 years, Robert Poorman of Springfield, Illinois, and her children and grandchildren, Jan Poorman (Jesse and Annie) of Granger, Indiana, the Rev. Mark Poorman, C.S.C. of Portland, Oregon, Alex (Susan) Poorman (Kelsey) of Boone, North Carolina, Lisa (Mark) Thomson (Zach and Matt) of Springfield, Illinois, and Dan Poorman of St. Paul, Minnesota. Gone before are her daughter Paula (Susan Simmons) Poorman and her sisters Marie and Bette.
Daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, and beloved wife. Traveler, student, homemaker, hostess, adventurer, reader, collector, speaker, duplicate bridge player. Lois was a caring and tender woman who lived a faith-centered life. Lois was a woman of spirit who lived a life that was often ahead of her time as she ventured out into the unfamiliar with a surprising fearlessness born of her innate interest in people and places. Lois loved and was loved by those she held dear and while her passing leaves a hole in the lives touching hers, still Lois and her life fill our hearts with gladness. Lois is already deeply missed.
Visitation: 4-7 p.m., Thursday, October 20, 2016 at Staab Funeral Home-Springfield with a rosary service being held at 6:45 p.m.
Funeral Mass: 10 a.m., Friday, October 21, 2016 at Christ the King Catholic Church with Reverend Mark Poorman and Reverend Joe Ring officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care at Memorial Hospital or The Samaritans at St. John’s Hospital.