Memorials may be offered to the Denison Animal Shelter
or The McHenry Historical Society.
Lois Lorraine Sievertsen Bliesman was born February 26, 1927, in her maternal grandparents’ farm home. Her parents were Leota and Alfred Sievertsen. She passed away Saturday, April 28, 2018, at her home in Denison, Iowa, at the age of ninety-one.
Lois spent her young years on a farm and attended grade school in a one-room school house in the Coon Grove School District. Tragedy came early in her life. In early 1931, her mother died leaving a one and a half year old brother, Dale, for Lois to mother. She matured quickly and was preparing meals at seven years of age. Her loving maternal grandmother, Grandma Bell to everyone, did the weekly laundry and always baked goodies to send home. By this time, her grandparents lived in town. Saturday’s were shopping days and bringing eggs and cream to the local creamery to sell. Grandma Bell always had pennies and nickels for her grandchildren to spend at the Candy Kitchen. As they got older, the allowance increased. She never ever forgot how important it was for young kids to have a few coins to spend on candy and the movies. Bathes, hair shampooing and a teaspoon of castor oil was a weekly ritual. Grandma Bell was a close to a mother as Lois and Dale could get and they adored her. Lois graduated from the Denison High School in 1945. In August, 1946, she was united in marriage to Lee Bliesman, the love of her life and a true soul mate. They were blessed with the birth of a son, Henry Theodore (Tedd) Bliesman III.
In 1952, Lois was asked to become a member of the Denison Youth Foundation. This was before TV and summers were planned for Denison youth with Red Cross swimming lessons, arts, crafts, games and lessons in archery and tennis. Land was purchased for softball games and teams were sponsored by the Denison Youth Foundation. She served on the board until 1997. Lois gave of her time to various community and civic organizations. She was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star where she and Lee served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron in 1957. She was a member of the Daughters of the Nile, the Abu-Bekr, American Legion and V.F.W. Auxiliaries and the Job Corps Community Relations Commission. She was a charter member of the Crawford County Zoning Commission from 1977 and remained a member until 2015. She was president of the Denison Chamber of Commerce in 1987 being the first woman to serve in that capacity. In 1988, she became a member of the Denison Rotary Club when it was first opened to women. In 1989, she received Rotary’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Award and in 1990-1991 became Denison Rotary Club’s first woman president. She also served on the Iowa Arts Council from 1969-1972 and the Iowa State Judicial Compensation Commission from 1988-1994. She became a member of Eventide Lutheran Home’s Board of Directors in 2000 and the Denison Foundation in 2003. Lois was active in the family business having both a Real Estate sales license and insurance license. A Republican all her life, she served in various capacities in the party as well as County chair for both Gov. Robert Ray and Gov. Terry Branstad. She was campaign chairman for Frank Crabb in his first successful bid for State Representative.
Lois and Lee enjoyed traveling and toured most of the European Countries more than once and in 1991 Lois’ dream came true when they toured China. They enjoyed several cruises and a number of trips in the States. Lois was an avid reader of histories, biographies and novels. She also enjoyed collecting antiques, interior design, decorating, needlepointing, painting, picture puzzles, crossword puzzles, cooking and baking. In her younger days, she hunted small game with her husband and son and at one time was a serious skeet shooter.
With all her outside activities, her family came first and she had a loving relationship with her father-in-law and Uncle Frank Larsen. Her son was her pride and joy as were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lois was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lee in 1999, her parents and her brother, Dale in 2002.
Lois is survived by her son, Tedd and her daughter-in love, Nancy; her grandchildren: Christopher and wife, Julie and children, Zachary, Jordan and husband, Sean; Ann and her husband, John and children, Camden, Joshua and Colten; her sister-in-law, Georgine; her niece, Becky and husband, Larry and children, Anne and Pat; her special friends, Mary and Clare; other relatives and friends.