Lois Marquardt Mitchell, 86, of Billings, who raised 14 children and had been director of Timbercrest Girl Scout Camp, died at home on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.
She was born to William J. and Cora King Marquardt in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Oct. 13, 1926. She spent her childhood in Idaho and Western Montana, including Hot Springs and Kalispell.
After graduating from Flathead County High School in Kalispell in 1944, she attended Montana State University in Bozeman and Eastern Montana College in Billings and worked at Billings Deaconess Hospital until 1946.
She married James David Mitchell in Billings in 1946 and raised their 14 children from 1947 to 1987. She spent some of those years working at Deaconess Hospital as a nurse’s aide and for the Treasure Trails Girl Scout Council as field director and camp director of Timbercrest Girl Scout Camp, where she was known as “Buttercup.”
She was an active volunteer at the YMCA for 20 years and the American Red Cross for 25 years. She was a member of the Lois Club, YMCA Birthday Club, Friendship Force, Global Grannies and LOWS Camping Group. She was a patron of the arts and had visited 27 countries.
She was a past member of the choirs at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral, St. Pius X Catholic Church, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Billings Symphony Chorale. She was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, served in the Altar Societies at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral, St. Pius X Church and St. Thomas the Apostle, and was a member of Catholic Daughters Court of St. Cecelia for 64 years. She built a cabin in Swan Valley for family retreats.
She returned to college at the age of 35. While in her 70s, she studied Italian and completed creative writing classes.
Survivors include children, Robert Paul Mitchell, James Patrick Mitchell, Barbara Jean Zavodny, Mary Catherine Donohue, Cecelia Ann McKaig, Thomas Gregory Mitchell, Margaret Rose Ahlin, Dennis Joseph Mitchell, Patricia Marie Goodell, Joan Elizabeth Parker-Frey, Teresa Maureen O’Neill, Dolores Eileen Cochrane, Rita Clare Beck and Michael Damian Mitchell; 18 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a sister, Wilma Minette.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Memorial Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, with a lunch to follow.