July 6, 1938 - December 30, 2023
In loving memory ~
Lois Charlene Sterzer (Robinson) passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 30th, 2023, at the age of 85, while residing at the Bulkley Lodge in Smithers, BC. Lois was born in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay), on July 6th, 1938, and her adventurous and vibrant life touched the hearts of many.
Lois spent her early years attending primary school in Edmonton until the late 1940's, when her family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. After graduating high school, Lois pursued her education at a business and secretarial college, then embarking on a career with Honeywell Corporation for two rewarding years.
After Lois's father retired as captain with TCA (now Air Canada) in the 1960's, the Robinson family's strong connection with the aviation industry and their appreciation for the outdoors found them owning and operating a fly-in fishing lodge on Bending Lake in Northwestern Ontario. Lois, inspired by her family's background in aviation, earned her private pilot's license training at the Lakehead Flying School at the Fort William Airport in 1968, a further testament to her adventurous spirit.
Lois cherished the years spent at the lodge, surrounded by family, preparing meals for guests, and enjoying boat rides down the Turtle River. She often remarked that the time spent at Bending Lake was some of the happiest and memorable times of her life.
In the late 60s, Lois met Randy Sterzer, and they were married in Coeur d'Alene Idaho, on September 13th, 1968. Together, they owned and operated Canadian Security Guard Services Limited, along with other security services, until retiring from the security guard business in the 70s.
The couple then moved to Smithers, BC, where they owned and operated Babine River Lodge for many fulfilling years. After retiring from the fishing lodge business, Lois and Randy ventured into marine sales and service operations at Smithers, continuing their legacy until health issues dictated the closure of the business in 2020.
Those who knew both Randy and Lois throughout their various enterprises often commented that Lois's strong business acumen combined with her outgoing and engaging personality towards customers and friends were certainly the major contributing factors to their business success. It is said that she was gracious in both her business and personal lives.
Lois had an enduring love for animals, and while living in Smithers, her lifelong dream of owning horses finally came true with the addition of her two handsome horses, Vicki and Hudson. Of all the animals that were part of Lois's life over the years, her most loyal and loving companion was Poncho, her little Bichon Frise. Poncho died December 26th in his sleep, just four days prior to Lois's passing.
Lois was also a talented pianist with a broad knowledge of classical and modern music but is probably best recognized for her artistic talents. She kept her own private art gallery on their home property in Smithers, where she would spend time creating beautiful works of art that reflected her association with the local environment as well as her passion for animals, especially horses. She donated one of her most favorite paintings of a polar bear to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, which is proudly displayed on the 3rd floor hallway wall.
Lois was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Randy Sterzer, on December 22, 2022, as well as her parents, Charles R. Robinson and Bertha Rae Robinson, and her brothers Larry and Errol. She is survived by her two younger siblings, Philip Robinson (Diane) and Susan Koskinen (Timo), residing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, as well as numerous nieces and nephews residing in B.C.'s lower mainland.
Alberta as well as Southern Ontario—many of which were able to bring joy and happiness into Lois's life with frequent visits to Smithers during her time in the hospital and Bulkley Lodge.
For the past two years, Lois's physical abilities were extremely limited. In spite of this, however, her spirits have always remained high, along with her continued mental acuity. While at home and later in the hospital, she received tremendous support and visits from some of her closest friends, who ensured she never missed out on the little things in life like a special meal brought in from her favorite local restaurant and now and then a McDonald's or a Tim's coffee.
A special thanks to Dr. Haskins and Dr. Strauss, both of whom provided exceptional care and compassion towards Lois. Plus, a huge gratitude to the amazing nursing and support staff on the 3rd floor of the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, who made a difficult time for Lois as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Although her time at the Bulkley Lodge was short, thank you to the entire staff for ensuring Lois enjoyed a very welcoming, bright, and friendly environment.
Lois will be remembered for her adventurous spirit, her impish sense of humour, unwavering love for family, and the indelible mark she left on the communities she touched throughout her remarkable life.
May she rest in eternal peace.