Lois Bates Walnut

Lois Walnut, 80; Skier, singer, scientist, scout leader, New Englander, Cornellian.  Lover of biology and books, mountains and music, cats and crosswords.  Brave, honest, funny, smart.  Red head.  Iconoclast.

Throughout her life, everything Lois chose to do, she did with style and dedication.She wasn’t just a skier, but a trophy-winning ski racer at as a child, on the Cornell Ski team, and afterwards. She then made the Michigan Mountain Rescue Ski squad. She didn’t just study Biology at Cornell University, but became a research scientist, a leader of forestry tours, and a mountaineer.

She was a Girl Scout Leader who taught swimming, sailing and orienteering for more than a decade.Lois was an organizer and a Do-er.  She held central roles in the Cornell Club of Central New York and the Syracuse University Women’s club, and immersed herself in Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church in DeWitt as a Deacon and an Elder.And wherever she lived, Lois would find a choir to sing in.  She sang at Cornell, in Michigan, and for over 30 years with the church choir of Pebble Hill Presbyterian.

Lois was born in 1937 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  She was the salutatorian of her class at Pittsfield High School.  In 1958, Lois graduated from Cornell University, where she was also a sister in Alpha Xi Delta.  Lois then moved to Detroit, and later Ann Arbor, Michigan, to work for Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals in their research and development team.  Lois married Dr Tom Walnut in 1970 and moved to Syracuse where she raised 2 children, and would play an active role for the next 45 years.

She is survived by her children, Susan Walnut, of Coventry, England, and Stephen Walnut, of Boston, MA; as well as by three grandchildren. 

Continuing her decades of support, the family suggests donations to WCNY [WCNY Public Media, PO Box 2400, Syracuse, NY 13220-2400] in Lois’ name. 

A memorial service for Lois will take place at 11am on Wednesday, 7 June, at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church in DeWitt.

Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.