December 27, 1934 ~ November 20, 2018
MUSSER, Lois Mae (Althoff) of Hermosa Beach, California passed away peacefully on November 20, 2018. She is survived by her two sons James and David, her sister Mary Koch, her two daughters-in-law JoEllyn and Aletha, and her grandson Walter. She is preceded in death by her parents George and Mary Belle Althoff (Coulson), her beloved husband of 53 years, Walter Harold Musser, her brother George O. Althoff, and two sisters Louise Yambor and Betty Geopfert.
Lois M. Musser was born on December 27, 1934 in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania into a family bursting with loving-kindness to share with the community around them. She lived in a beautiful two-story home in Park Crest, PA, and attended Park Crest elementary school, then Mahanoy City High School from which she graduated in 1953.
The Althoff family were well known in the region for their concession stands at Lakewood Park in Barnesville, PA at which they served delicious waffles and ice cream, soft pretzels and yummy treats to joyous amusement park goers, and always with a smile. It was at one such concession stand on a bright Summer day that Lois as a young teen started flirting with a young boy named Walter who would frequent the stand with great enthusiasm.
After many visits by Walter to the Althoff waffle & ice cream stand, Lois' father George kindly spoke to him, 'Son, you sure love spending a lot of time at our concession stand. Would you like to come work for us?' to which Walter happily responded, 'Sure Sir! I would love to.' So, Walter was welcomed to the Althoff team, and after a long, joyous Summer working together at Lakewood Park, Lois received her first magical kiss from Walter on the 'Tunnel of Love' water ride.
In the Summer of 1953, at the tender age of 18, Lois married her beloved sweetheart Walter Musser in Mahanoy City, PA and they honeymooned in the Pocono Mountains and Cape Cod, MA. With Walter in the Navy, the newlyweds soon moved to Norfolk, VA and he was shipped out to sea for 9 months. Lois found work in Virginia, and upon his return, she shared with her new hubby her wish to have a baby. In kind response, Walter shared his wish to go to college, and for them to wait 4 years until he completes his education. It was a tough pill for Lois to swallow, but she was a champ as always, with her whole life ahead of her.
In 1956, Lois and Walter moved to State College, PA to fulfill his wish to attend college at Penn State University, and they lived happily in a trailer with Lois working to support them until he completed his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1959. In 1960, Walter took a job with the RCA corporation in California, and in the Spring Lois gave birth to their first child, James Allen Musser.
After 4 years in California, Walter completed a master's degree at UCLA, and was invited to return to Penn State University for post-graduate work. So, Lois, Walter & James moved back to State College, PA and in June of 1964, Lois gave birth to their second son, David Scott Musser. In the fall of the same year, Walter took a job with TRW in California, they bought a beautiful home in Hermosa Beach, and the Musser family was at last settled for a lifetime in sunny SoCal.
The days of early motherhood were cherished by Lois, raising her two boys with a ton of heart & love, with plenty of trips to the South Bay beaches to enjoy fun in the sun, frequent visits to the happiest place on earth Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm too, and enthusiastic attendance at the annual Fiesta de Las Artes fair in downtown Hermosa Beach to shop for fine jewelry which she enjoyed endlessly.
In 1971, Lois enrolled in Cosmetology school at El Camino College, and she worked tirelessly and diligently to learn the art of hairdressing, recruiting her family and friends as clients to fulfill her college requirements and apprenticeship. In 1973, she graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Cosmetology, and soon after started work as a beautician at the Beachcomber salon in the Manhattan Beach Women's Health Spa, and she served as an outstanding hairdresser to many thankful clients for the next 30 years.
There was plenty of adventure in the life of Lois Musser too. In 1975, she and her family became certified scuba divers through the TRW Sea Divers club, and with her husband and many great Dive buddies went scuba diving to many exotic destinations including Australia, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Fiji, Hawaii, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Red Sea, Sabah, and Turks & Caicos islands.
In addition, Lois traveled with her husband, family & friends to many spectacular land-based destinations including the Great Pyramids of Egypt; the Galapagos islands, Ecuador; the Forbidden City in Beijing, China; the Mayan Temples at Tikal, Guatemala; Cuzco & Machu Picchu, Peru; the Okavango Delta in Botswana; Safari in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; the Tiritiri Matangi bird sanctuary, New Zealand; and magnificent Victoria Falls in Zambia.
The most favorite travel destination of all to Lois Musser was her home state of Pennsylvania which she visited annually to spend time with her beloved parents, brother, sisters, cousins, nieces and extended family and friends. She attended many Mahanoy City High school reunions, chatting up and dancing up a storm with her classmates, and she always had a wonderful time every time she returned to in her beloved birth state of Pennsylvania.
In her last decade Lois received three very special blessings from her two daughters-in-law and her caring son James. The first blessing was the birth of her grandson Walter Magellan Musser delivered by her daughter-in-law Aletha on November 12, 2008, and Grandma Lois arrived in Boston, MA on that very day to welcome him. The second was the gift of health and wellbeing supported by her daughter-in-law JoEllyn who advocated the best diet and exercise program for Lois including Pilates instruction for 10 years. The third blessing was the conscientious and dedicated care provided by her son James, coordinating around the clock caretaking for Lois, and attending to her every need with heartfelt grace and compassion. The amazing healthcare provided by James & JoEllyn, and many wonderful caretakers helped Lois to fulfill her wish to enjoy the comforts of home for all time.
The legacy of Lois M. Musser beyond her career as a cosmetologist beautifying all her clients with tender loving care is one of kindness, generosity, warmth, friendliness, joy and adventure. To appreciate the specialness of visiting with treasured family & friends near and far, the wonder of scuba diving and enjoying the amazing creatures of the deep blue sea, the sweetness of sharing a homemade blueberry pie with loved ones, and the infinite splendor of traveling the world - these are the fine lessons she left for us all.
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