Lois Bishop Houns Williams

Lois Bishop Houns Williams passed away on March 4, 2024 at the age of 96. She was surrounded by her loving family as well as her devoted hospice team. She was so happy to be able to leave this Earth in the comfort of her own home.

Lois was born on Sept. 15, 1927 in Roselle, Ill., the fourth child and only daughter to her parents, Helen (Landmeier) and Edward (Biddy) Bishop. She was doted on by her three older brothers who lovingly referred to her as their “Honey Lou,” a nickname that survived the ages.

As a small child Lois and her family moved from Illinois to Tomahawk, where she was raised, attended school and eventually met and married her first husband, William R. Houns in 1949. Lois and Bill welcomed daughter Susan in 1950 in Tomahawk. At that time, Lois was a secretary and unofficial nurse to Dr.’s Baker and McCormick until she and her family moved due to Bill’s employment with the Wisconsin State Patrol. After moving first to Baraboo, Wis. and then to Madison, Wis., they settled into life and welcomed their second daughter, Jane in 1956.

During their many years in Madison, Lois took her skills into the political arena, first working for Republican Headquarters and then later working in the Wisconsin State Senate. She excelled in her profession and eventually became secretary to the Governor of Wisconsin during both the Governor Knowles and later the Governor Dreyfus administrations. She was known for her outgoing, warm and welcoming yet professional personality and her impeccable secretarial skills.

In 1968 Bill was transferred to the Wisconsin State Patrol in Eau Claire, Wis. Lois took her talents to the University of Wisconsin, working in Placement Services where she enjoyed working for many years before retirement.

Lois and Bill returned to Madison in their semi-retirement for a while until they decided it was time to make their snow bird adventures permanent. In the 1980s they moved to Port Aransas, Tex., for beach life and to enjoy what she fondly referred to as the “Glory Years.” Eventually, they returned to Eau Claire to be closer to family where she remained until her death.

In 2012 Bill passed away after 62 happy years of marriage and Lois was never a content widow. She was determined to find love again and that she did. After meeting a gentleman from Arizona she knew that she had once again found someone special. Lois and Ralph Williams were joined in marriage in their 90s on Nov. 11, 2020, to the delight of her family. Theirs is a unique love story that is so admired.

She was very proud of her French-Canadian heritage and she and her daughters made several trips to Quebec to explore her roots. Upon return from one trip, she decided that she should write a cookbook, which became a family treasure of heritage, recipes and stories. 

She loved all animals, especially dogs and one particular cat named Elvis. She had many dogs throughout her life and her love for them is legendary. She was unconditionally loving and loyal to all of these special animals in her life. 

Lois was a woman with great determination and she believed in writing her own story. She was petite but not demure. She was a smart, progressive and very open minded woman. She was a woman ahead of her time in many ways. She was also incredibly witty and funny and relished her role as the much loved family matriarch. Her daughters, grandsons and great grandchildren were her greatest pride. She loved her nieces and nephews with a fierce loyalty. Her spirit and essence will continue to live on in her big and loving family. 

She is survived by her husband Ralph Williams of Eau Claire, daughter and son-in-law Jane and Dr. Cortney Decker of Eau Claire, stepson Scott Williams of Sunrise, Fla., grandsons Ryan (Nicole) Decker of Somerset, Wis., Matthew (Chloe Fabbri) Wolfe of Aptos, Calif., Brent (Lindsay) Decker of Edina, Minn., great-grandchildren Corbin and Everett Decker of Somerset, Max, Lucy and Charlie Decker of Edina, and Meadow Moroney of Aptos. She is further survived by a multitude of adoring nieces and nephews.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, her daughter Susan Murphy, son-in-law Jerry Murphy, her three adoring big brothers and their wives Edward (Beatrice) Bishop, Bruce (Patricia) Bishop, James (Carol) Bishop and brother-in-law Peter Houns.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the former St. Joseph’s Hospice and Lily Hospice for their devotion and care as well as the care provided by Shelly Polencheck and her wonderful team of caregivers. They brought happiness and comfort to her in her final days.

A celebration of her unique life will take place in Tomahawk later this summer or early fall with the date yet to be determined. It will be as she would wish in the place she called home with her family and those that she so loved.

The family suggests memorials in her memory be made to Bob’s House for Dogs in Eleva, Wis., or Lily Hospice, Eau Claire.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com. Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, Wis., 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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