Raising a family, charitable works, and traveling the country are part of a lifelong journey for Allen and Lois Maywald.
Married 60 years ago, the loving couple bubble with enthusiasm, when looking back over the years, since they met at a high school Junior Achievement class in Chicago. At the time of their wedding, Allen was in the Navy and stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. The newlyweds enjoyed living on the east coast and in other cities in the ensuing years.
As time passed by they were blessed with four children: Bill, Don, Beth, and Douglas. They also have welcomed 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren into the family.
A service technician, who worked on large machinery, Allen retired from this industry to open a hardware store with Lois in Nederland, Colorado. They operated this store for approximately seven years. Then, due to health issues for Allen, they decided to retire from the store and pursue their dream to travel. For the next 10 years they toured the country in a Fifth Wheel RV.
During the course of their travels, they found a house in the Lake Geneva area that they liked. A major detour was still in their future, though. As a gift for their 50th wedding anniversary, their children gave them a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. That week turned into a year that they stayed in Hawaii.
Back in Wisconsin, they continued to do works of charity that always have been dominant in their lives. As members of the St. Francis de Sales community, they both have been active volunteers.
Lois put to good use her secretarial background. She has been secretary for the Pastoral Council for about 10 years. She also is secretary for the Altar Society and secretary for the rectory committee. She is a former regent for the Catholic Daughters of America and is a familiar face at funeral lunches. Lois also volunteers at Mass as a lector and a Eucharistic Minister.
When she is not busy volunteering, Lois enjoys pursuing counted cross-stitch as a hobby. Her beautiful artworks are on display in our parish center. She created the kitchen blessings prayers…one in English and the other in Spanish…that adorn the walls outside of the kitchen.
While not counted cross-stitch, Lois uses her computer skills for the upkeep of the baptismal scroll of names that hang by the baptismal font. “I feel very honored to have work that I have done hanging in the church and in the parish center,” Lois said.
Lois also has volunteered in the community with Meals on Wheels, hospice, and the Aurora Vince Lombardi Cancer Center, both in terms of helping patients and as secretary for the volunteer association. Following three successful bouts with cancer over a 30-plus year span, Lois continues to volunteer for Aurora, in terms of assisting cancer patients. This is the same facility where she received treatments, during her third battle with cancer.
Looking back over her health issues, Lois said, “The Lord has helped me to get early detection of my cancers.” With a tender look at his wife, Allen reminisced about the past and his enjoyment of music. He started with piano when he was 10-years-old and added singing to his repertoire. He joined the St. Francis contemporary choir at the 9:00 Mass about 10 years ago. A bass, he has thoroughly enjoyed this choir that he calls a “close knit group.” His musical background also includes membership with groups like the Country Gentlemen’s Barbershop Chorus. In addition to choral work, Allen belongs to the St. Francis stewardship committee. He also spent several years on the church’s building and grounds committee.
Allen’s love of trains is apparent with his work with the Geneva Lake Museum where he keeps the toy train running. He also volunteered with the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, Illinois where he worked on steam engines. Other activities that Allen is involved with include volunteering for Valley of the Kings Sanctuary and Retreat in Sharon, Illinois.
From lending helping hands to sharing talents, Allen and Lois demonstrate the giving spirit of the St. Francis community. We all join together to say thank you!