Lois Evelyn Detwiler

Lois Evelyn Detwiler

Lois Evelyn Detwiler

Lois Evelyn Detwiler — whose work, her family says “was as varied and as unusual as her personality” — died on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. She was 89.

She was born on March 29, 1931 to L.Edgar Detwiler and Evelyn Madeline (née Platt) Detwiler of New York City. Her mother later married Dr. Ritter Amsel. Her early childhood was spent in New York City, with summers on Long Island and visits to Jones Beach. Later, her family moved to San Luis Obispo and then to Los Angeles, California.

She married Roger McElhone Smith Jr. of Douglaston, New York.

“Lois had an interesting and active life,” her family wrote in a tribute. “Her earliest career was as a child model for a New York City newspaper column on children’s etiquette titled “The Correct Thing.” However, on her refrigerator is the quote ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history!’

“Lois worked as an alcohol and drug counselor and helped establish the alcohol and drug counseling program in New York State prisons. Before this, her work was as varied and as unusual as her personality. She taught English to nurses in Iran and worked at the Hartman Theater in Stamford, Connecticut. She was an intake counselor at Heights Psychiatric Hospital, a gemologist at Cartier’s, an office manager for an obstetrics and gynaecology practice in Stamford, Connecticut, an administrative assistant at New York Graphic Art Publishers and Jet Party Favors International, and a customer-service representative at LaPosada Hotel in Sante Fe, to name a few.

“Lois was very proud to earn a Bachelor of University Studies Degree at the University of New Mexico in 1985. She gained much personal insight and wisdom through her participation in 12-step programs. Lois remained active in retirement, traveling to Turkey, Portugal, France, and Spain. She continued to study languages and participated in the wonderful lectures at Oasis in Albuquerque.

“Lois was an avid reader. Her favorite authors were Orhan Pamuk and José Saramago. She loved theater, the opera, and classical music. Lois appreciated nature and hiked in all of the beautiful places she lived.”


Lois Evelyn Detwiler is survived by her younger daughter, Kimberley Anne Smith, who lives in Berne with her husband, James Swint. She loved her grandchildren, Abigail Swint (Sam Meigs), Matthew Edge (Lizette Edge), and her mother, Alema Castillo.

Her elder daughter, Kristina Robin, died before her as did her brothers, Edgar Amsel and Lee Detwiler, and her former husband, Allen T. Wedvick.

“Her cat, Aggie, was a great companion, as was her beloved dog, Tobie,”her family wrote. “She felt loved and had much gratitude for the care and concern of her neighbors and friends, Ramon, Rosa, Sherri, and Debbie. Lois so enjoyed her many years of correspondence with David, Bill, Dwyer, Mark, and Gail, and many others.”

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

Memorial contributions may be made in honor of her love of animals, nature, and education to the Sierra Club, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or K.I.N.D. (Kids in Need of Desks).

“Due to COVID, no services are scheduled at this time, but we ask that you celebrate life with your loved ones,” her family wrote.

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