Lois Brettschneider was devoted to her family and had a passion for working with people less fortunate than herself. Lois passed away, Monday, March 30, 2020, at UMass Memorial Health Alliance Hospital, Leominster due to complications from COVID-19.
How long have you been an Advocate? Lois was trained to be an Advocate in 2017 and had three different cases, advocating for 6 children.
What brought you to CASA? Lois came to CASA after being restless in her retirement. Her family used to make annual predictions at Thanksgiving, going back 15 years someone would always predict Lois would retire. Yet, she never did! When she finally made the decision to retire, none of her family was surprised to learn she was looking for meaningful ways to keep busy.
What keeps you at CASA? Lois had to step away from being a CASA in 2019 due to health issues. While she was an advocate, she enjoyed the interactions with the children on her cases and was great at recommending permanency for the children. She was very thoughtful when making recommendations and always thought about what was best for them in the long term rather than agreeing to a short -term solution.
What CASA experience stands out the most? Lois was a zealous advocate and she loved to be educated about the child welfare system. She spoke her mind and was unwavering in her support of her CASA children.
Three words we would use to describe Lois: warrior, genuine and compassionate
Occupation: Lois was previously an Ophthalmic Technician and came to CASA upon retirement
What are your hobbies/interests? She loved to travel. She also enjoyed going to the casino! Most importantly, she was a huge people person, interaction was her forte. She was very devoted to her family. Her home was the gathering place for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and other holidays. Despite working full time, she could always be counted on to help with when her grandchildren were young. And when her grandchildren started having children of their own, she helped them too. Whether grandchildren or great-grandchildren, they all have the fondest memories of Lois’ candy dish and other special treats she always had on hand.
Favorite vacation destination: With her late husband, Fred, Lois traveled Europe extensively. They also visited many tropical destinations, Aruba being a favorite. When they returned from any trip they always brought home a much anticipated souvenir for all five of their grandchildren. After Fred’s death, Lois, toured Ireland with Molly, her eldest grandchild.
Dog or Cat: Lois’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was her beloved companion. Lois got Katie after Fred passed away and they were immediately best friends. Katie was great company for Lois and her family used to joke that Fred must be turning over in his grave watching Katie sleep in their bed – on his pillow to boot!
Coffee or Tea: Lois preferred coffee. She loved to have company over to sit at her table and enjoy coffee or tea with some baked good (usually coffee cake). There were many times that Lois would invite her CASA supervisor over for updates on her case or would invite her over with another Advocate to chat and check-in with one another.
We believe all of our Volunteers have super powers, what is yours? Lois’ superpower was her ability to connect with anyone and often told us happiness is a state of mind, a choice if you will. She spoke her mind freely and had a quick sense of humor. When you were in her presence you sensed she genuinely cared about you.