ForeverMissed
Her Life
An exciting life begins.  The only child of Marie and Edward Landberg, Lois was born on June 24, 1931.  At 6 weeks old, she's ready for prime-time and photos.  Look out world, here she comes!
Even in her terrible twos, Lois's eternal optimism and zest for life was on full display.  Her favorite childhood photo, she loved to point out the vintage car in the background.
When Lois was two and a half, she swallowed a hairpin.  One of those old-fashioned types that hair-pin turns are named after.  She had to have abdominal surgery to get it out.  Being a squirmy two year old, of course the stitches came loose.  The doctor made a house call and she had to lie down on the kitchen table while he fixed it.  If you look closely, you can see the abdominal binder under her swimsuit.  The photo was taken at Lake Michigan beach in 1934.
Lois loved dance class.  She especially liked tap-dance. (Think Shirley Temple, tap-dancing up and down the stairs in that movie. You know the one).  Not sure if this was a tap-dancing number or not. The recital costume was gold with silver dots.  The photo was taken in the back yard circa 1938 or 1939.
Sometime during mom's high school years, she contracted rheumatic fever and was quite ill.  She remembered having to get her blood drawn in the morning.  If the results were good, that meant her heart was strong enough for her to climb the stairs to her second floor classroom.  If not, she would take her classwork home.  She missed many months of school, but never fell behind in her studies.  She graduated in 1949 and her class delighted in calling themselves "The 49ers!"
From 1951 to 1953, Lois attended Michigan State Memorial College in Ypsilanti Michigan and called herself an "Ypsy girl".  In the photo album, she wrote "May 1952, General McArthur passes through Ypsilanti!".
Lois was so excited about Occupational Therapy.  She went to Columbia University in New York form 1954 to 1956 to earn her Occupational Therapy degree. Check out her class with the Empire State Building in the background.  Mom is at the bottom right in the plaid dress.

One of her earliest jobs was at a polio unit working with patients in iron lungs.  The summer heat and humidity was unbearable in the age before air conditioning.  Mom would tell stories about how they would wheel the patients into the parking lot and the Fire Department would come and spray water from the fire hoses over them to cool the stifling air.
From May 16th through July 29th, 1958, Lois Landberg and her neighbor, Joan Aleck took an 8 week tour of Europe.  They purchased a planned trip, including rental car, itinerary, meals and hotels. The first week was spent on the steamer, S.S.United States, sailing from New York to Hampton, England. They zig-zaged through Europe hitting all the highlights (London, Paris, Rome) and some of the lesser traveled paths, (Bruges Belgium, Oslo Norway, Toledo Spain). This was the beginning of a lifetime obsession with travel.
One blustery afternoon, Lois saw the movie, Pal Joey with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, shot in shinning San Francisco.  Inspired, she left her parents in Omaha and moved to San Francisco in September 1958.  She found her own Frank Sinatra (AKA Ernest Sarneski) in September of 1960.  The first time she laid eyes on him at a party, he was kissing a red-head. That all changed when he met mom with her long legs.  He didn't mind that she was taller and told her to wear her heels.
Ernest Oswald Sarneski and Lois Marie Landberg were married on April 2, 1961 at Saint John's Presbyterian Church, San Francisco.
At the reception.  From left to right:  Parents of the bride Edward and Marie Landberg, the happy couple Lois and Ernest Sarneski, Ernest's aunt Selma, and the reception hosts Mrs. and Mr. Herbert Bjorn.
In the summer of 1962, Lois went to Germany to meet Ernest's family.  She learned German for the occasion. In her photo album, she wrote, "With friends, Walter and Selma, we drove over the Grosse-Glockner Pass in the Bavarian Alps.  The radio said Marilyn Monroe had just been found dead.  August 5, 1962".
Lois had a hard time having children. After several miscarriages, she and Ernest adopted a beautiful daughter they named Christa. Born in February 1967, she came to them at about a month old. This photo was taken the day the adoption was finalized. October 11, 1967.
No longer worried about starting a family, Lois became pregnant with her daughter, Bettina, who was born in July 1968.  She loved being a mother!
In June of 1971, the family packed up and moved to Carson City, Nevada for a couple years.  Lois was instrumental in creating and running the Sierra Nursery School where her two small children attended.
Time for a project to keep the kids occupied.  Mom wrote in her photo album, "Cutting Jack-O-Lanterns from home grown pumpkins.  We roasted the seeds.  Yum!".  October 1972
Lois was always working on some project and put her creative talents to good use.  We had home made baby blankets, hand-smocked dresses, a set of Winnie the Poo stuffed animals, Hobby Hollie dolls and an Alphabet quilt!  May 1973
March 22, 1975  From the Independent-Journal, an article on Lois's sensory integration therapy pioneered by Jean Ayres. (Article continued in next story).
In the '70's, mom hung a hammock in the middle of our family room, instantly making our house the coolest in the neighborhood.  Kid's couldn't believe they were allowed to swing wildly around, throwing bean bags at a target.
Another talent Lois had was painting.  She bought a second hand desk and pained it antique white. Then she festooned it with Bettina's current obsession, bunnies!  October 1976
In the Summer of 1977, the Sarneski's took a month-long trip to Europe to visit Lois's family in Sweden and Ernest's family in Germany.  They bought a big, yellow, Volvo station wagon from the factory and off they went!  This shot commemorates Bettina's birthday.  She turned "nine on the Rhine".
Birthday Bash!  Dad brought home an LP of Saturday Night Fever for mom's 47th birthday.  She put their disco lessons to good use and immediately started dancing with us kids.  She's wearing the t-shirt her Girl Scout troop made for her, decorated with drawing and signature from each girl.  June 24, 1978
This was mom's all-time favorite family photo.  It was a spur of the moment shot out the car window as our house guests drove away.  We all stood in the doorway (kids in nightgowns) to say goodbye. Looking at this photo always brought her happy memories of family times. August 21, 1978
Talk about a great role model!  On September 5, 1979, all three of the Sarneski ladies were off to school.  Lois enrolled in the Master's of Rehabilitation Counseling program at San Francisco State University.
Graduation Day!  Master's of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, San Francisco State University. May 30, 1981
Summer of 1984.  Christa spent a month in Germany as an exchange student.  Lois, Ernest and Bettina went to Europe to retrieve her.  Here's mom in front of the Basilica de San Marco, Venice.
Sometime in 1983 or 1984, Lois developed polycystic kidney disease.  A disorder in which cysts develop, crushing the kidney to the point of failure.  She started dialysis and got on the wait list for a kidney transplant.  Lois had to carry around a newfangled device called a "pager".  It went off when she and Ernest were at a fancy dinner, celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary. This was the age before cell phones, so they drove home immediately and found this note from Christa.  The next day, Lois was blessed with a kidney transplant.  (The scribble on the side says, "Knitted sweater while on morphine. Surgeon was impressed!").  April 3, 1985
25th Wedding Anniversary.  Christa and Bettina threw a surprise party with all their old friends and neighbors.   April 2, 1986
MOB   - Mother Of the Bride!  On June 6, 1987, Christa wed Paul Fox.  Seamstress extraordinaire, Lois sewed dresses for the whole female side of the wedding party including; THE WEDDING GOWN, MOB dress, bridesmaids dresses and the two flower girl dresses. Impressive!  Cousin Kristina Sjogren liked the bridesmaid dress so much, Lois later sewed one in white for Kristina's wedding gown.
Bettina spent her Junior year abroad in Sweden.  During Spring break, Lois came over to hand deliver Kristina's wedding gown and to spend a little time, sight-seeing with Bettina.  With back-packs on and a Eurail pass in hand, we traveled through Sweden to Amsterdam and took an overnight ferry to England.  Here's Lois at King Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace.  It was April and all the tulips were in bloom.  April 1989
It's a Boy!  With the arrival of Mitchell Fox on May 9, 1990, Lois becomes a Grandma.  Baby Mitchell lived in Washington State at the time, 16 hours away, so it was a few months before she got to snuggle with the little peanut. 
Mitchell's baptism was held on the same day as Lois's 59th birthday.  The celebration took place at Calvary Church in Bolinas, California and was performed by Pastor Christie Warham, who also officiated Christa and Paul's wedding.  Christie Warham was the reason Lois and Ernest drove 45 minutes through the countryside to attend church. They loved that meandering drive with the beautiful vistas and built some close friendships with the congregation. June 24, 1990
Proud Grandma!  Mitchell takes his first few steps at the park.  February 26, 1991
The travel bug strikes again!  Lois and Bettina took another trip around Britain's Heritage sites from mid-April to mid-May, 1991.  Lois reveled in the history, genealogies and architecture of the land.  Here's Lois at Hever Castle, home of Ann Boleyn.
Lois turns the BIG SIX-OH!  It was a wild night of partying.  First, they went to The Beuna Vista in San Francisco for their famous Irish Coffee. Then over to O Solo Mio's in the Marina District for the best pizza this side of Italy.  (Mom and Dad started going to O Solo Mio's when they were dating).  Then finally home for home-made cheese cake and champagne.  Yum!  June 24, 1991
It begins!  Lois lets her inner architect out to play.  After months of studying architecture from the likes of Samuel Sloan and Richart Upjohn, it's finally time to build her doll house. Summer 1991
A second grandson is born.  Welcome Benjamin "Ben" Fox!  This time, Grandma is at the bedside. Playing with grandchildren were some of the most joyful times of her life.  November 23, 1992
Lois returned to England with Bettina in the spring of 1995.  This classic London shot was taken at Trafalgar Square.  Nearby is the National Portrait Gallery where Lois showed off her knack for history and genealogies.  As we walked down the halls, she would point to a portrait and say, "There's King So-and-So, and he married Queen So-and-So.  They had three children who married these people and ruled these countries . . ."  Her memory and knowledge were prodigious!  May 16, 1995
In April 1996, Lois and Bettina took a 2 week Smithsonian tour of Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Lois found the history and architecture of the city fascinating.  One of her favorite excursions was to The Hermitage a palace turned museum to house Queen Catherine the Great's art collection. (A Russian version of the Louvre).  Here's Lois at Catherine's Palace.   April 26, 1996
Lois finally completes her doll house.  She named it "Queenscote" as it was loosely modeled after the Newport Mansion, "Kingscote" completed in the Gothic Revival style.  The yellow bedroom was wallpapered with wrapping paper Lois bought at the Brighton Pavilion gift shop in England. It's a copy of the Chinese wallpaper that graced the Pavilion's salon.  She used popsicle sticks to make the wooden planked floor of the kitchen.  Her soon to be son-in-law, Abe, made the decorative chimney stacks using dental molds.  September, 1996
Lois, the seamstress extraordinaire, puts her skills to remaking her own wedding gown to fit daughter, Bettina. December 1996
Lois took a guided tour to China in September of 1998, where she saw the Forbidden City, walked on the Great Wall, took a cruise down the Lijiang river and marveled at the Terracotta Warriors.  Check another one off the bucket list!  September 26, 1998
It's a girl!  Granddaughter, Isabelle La Farlette is born on April 27th, 1999.  A few months later, baby Isabelle is baptised at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Bolinas, California.  July 11, 1999.
Lois created a quilt out of circles of leftover fabric.  Some are from clothing she made herself in high school. Others are from nightgowns and doll dresses she made for her children. She even made a mini-photo album documenting the history of the fabric.  It was a gift for Bettina's 33rd birthday.
July 2001.
The world traveler hits the road again with a trip to Italy and Greece.  Here's Lois at the Villa d'Este, known for it's fountains. She loved the art and the history of the rulers and their families. She also loved to create photo albums of her travels and would spend months reliving and documenting her trip.  September 2003
Lois's good friend, Carole O'Neil got her hooked on Japanese woodblock prints.  She particularly liked the artists Hiroshige and  Hokusai (of "The Great Wave" painting).  So, in May of 2004, she traveled to Japan to immerse herself in the art and culture.
Lois took a 10 day trip to Vienna to visit her cousin, Lloyd Thorson.  (He's the little boy in the black and white photo).   This lovely building is in the complex grounds of the Baroque masterpiece, Melk Abbey.  Lois especially loved the crazy architecture of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  August 15, 2004
Creativity strikes again!  Lois builds a kit doll house for her little friend and neighbor, Bella.   June 26, 2005
India and the Taj Mahal!  By now, Lois needed some help while traveling and Bettina, her intrepid travel companion, was only too happy to help.  We went on a Globus Tour in October of 2005 and were fortunate enough to be there for the festival of lights or "Dewali".  Driving through the twilight, there were candles twinkling in the fields, on fences and rooftops and in windows.  The markets were covered in tinsel, marigolds and palm fronds decorated trucks and buildings and the farm animals were painted with polka dots.  October 2005
In September 2006, Lois and Bettina took a less strenuous trip to Philadelphia and the surrounding area.  They stopped at the Brandywine Museum to enjoy three generations of artists, (N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth) and were surprised to be given a tour by none other than Andrew Wyeth's granddaughter, Vicky.  Driving through Amish country, they saw a horse and carriage at a drive through ATM. They were also astounded by the amazing murals that graced the city and ended up revising the whole trip around the Mural Art's Tours.
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