Obituary of Lois Mielke Plekenpol
Lois Mielke Plekenpol of Hilton Head, SC died peacefully on November 21st, 2022 surrounded by family. For a number of years she suffered from Lewy Body Dementia and finally succumbed to Leukemia. We are celebrating her wonderful life of 95 years, of which 71 were spent married to her partner Roy.
Lois was born in 1927 in Appleton, Wisconsin to Dr. Edward and Beulah Connell Mielke. She is pre-deceased by her three siblings; Ellen Moore Anderson, Dr. John Mielke, and the Reverend William Mielke.
Lois was not only her high school valedictorian, but her 13 years of piano and 11 years of violin led to a performance with a full orchestra of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto 1 (Opus 25). She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1949 as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, majoring in mathematics and music. While at Madison she continued to share her musical ability by singing in the Pres House Choir. Through active participation in Pres House, she met Leroy Wesley Plekenpol from Oostburg, Wisconsin. Both served as elders in the session. One Sunday they teamed up to assist a small rural church with Roy giving the sermon and Lois playing piano. Through their Presbyterian faith, their friendship grew.
After graduating, Lois taught mathematics for three years and coordinated musical performances at Monroe High School in Wisconsin.
They were married in 1951. Lois affectionally called Roy “Flick”, the childhood name given to him by his father. Always hanging in her kitchen window a small meaningful stained-glass gift from Roy carried the words “Happiness is being married to your best friend”.
Following Roy’s careers with the US Air Force, US Army, IBM, and AT&T they moved 21 times. Lois was a proud mother of three children which became her life’s pride and joy, leading to countless hours serving on many PTAs across the country. Lois followed many of her family members and joined PEO (Philanthropic Education Organization), actively participating for 64 years. She served in several leadership roles, including President in Greenwich, CT.
Lois was very meticulous and could easily visualize complex structures and designs. She used those skills for the construction of their retirement home on Flagship Lane in Hilton Head Plantation in 1992. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church Choir, and many church small groups and was very active at Bear Creek Country Club. She and Roy supported and were often at the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. Lois always had a love for children and enjoyed her time helping young children to read through Operation 100%.
Lois leaves a loving family to keep her memory alive. Her husband (LeRoy Plekenpol) resides at the Cypress in Hilton Head Plantation; daughter, Jayne, and her husband Art Schoeller (Westport, CT); son, David, and his wife Victoria (Castle Rock, CO). Their middle son, Thomas died due to a chronic medical condition in 1998. Lois also leaves behind five grandchildren; Eric Schoeller, Sally Schoeller Foster, Regan Plekenpol, Garrett Plekenpol, and Kailin Plekenpol; and two great-grandchildren, Michael Foster and Alice Foster.
A Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday, January 15th at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to any organization that supports early childhood education which helps children to read.