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Oakland, Neb.

Lois Fern Messerschmidt, 97, of Oakland, passed away Sunday, March 4, 2018, at a retirement home in Emerson, Neb.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland. Burial will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Emerson. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday with the family present and a prayer service at 5 p.m. at Pelan Funeral Services of Oakland. There will also be a visitation one hour prior to the funeral at the church.

Lois was born Oct. 14, 1920, in Dundy County, Neb., to Ralph and Nellie (Nesmith) Miller. She grew up near Wauneta, Neb., where she graduated from high school. She then entered nurses training at Bethel Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo. After receiving her nursing degree, she worked for three years at Greeley County Hospital. In 1941, at the start of WWII, she enlisted in the U. S. Navy at Mare Island and served for one and a half years.

It was there she met her Marine patient, Smitty. They were married in California, New Year’s Eve 1945. Following their discharge in late 1945, they bought a farm in Missouri, where they lived for 26 years. Lois worked for 13 years at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Mo., and then 13 years as the director of nursing at the hospital in Lamar, Mo.

In 1977, they sold their farm and moved to Oakland. In 1978, Lois began working at the Oakland Hospital and retired after 17 years at the age of 75 years. In 2002, they moved to Branson, Mo., for six and a half years and returned to Oakland in 2007 to retire.

Survivors include her brother, Ed Miller of Denver; sisters, Rita Manlove of Mesa, Ariz., and Ila Gilbert of Walnut Creek, Calif.; 12 nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 65 years, Smitty; an infant son; one sister; and one brother.

Memorials may be made to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland and Oakland Mercy Hospital.

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