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Lois's Story

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85, a 40-year resident of Bowie, Maryland, passed away on May 19, 2017 in Mansfield, TX. Lois was born on November 15, 1931 in Johnstown, PA to Nick and Susan (Piro) Distefano. She graduated from Johnstown High School in 1949. She went on to receive a BA (Magna cu Laude; Phi Beta Kappa) and a MA (Full Tuition Fellowship) from the University of Pittsburgh. Lois had a long and varied professional career. Immediately after college, she was employed as a Registered Medical Technologist and worked at Mercy Hospital in Johnstown, the American Red Cross, and Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh. Following 10 years in the medical field, Lois went on to pursue a career teaching English. She taught both at the Ohio State University and later at Florida Community College. Her passion for the English language was best put to use when she was employed as a Technical Information Specialist at the National Technical Information Services, in Springfield, VA. Her 5 years of experience there, coupled with her medical background, led to her longest and most beloved job - a Scientific and Technical Editor in the Biological and Medical Sciences at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Lois edited for the FDA for 20 years, before "retiring." But she did not remain retired for long. In 1995, shortly after leaving the FDA, she began consulting as a copyeditor for the Journal of the AOAC International, and continued to do so until 2015! Beyond editing, Lois loved reading, listening to classical and jazz music, solving challenging puzzles, and keeping an incredibly organized home. She was passionate about animals and gave generously to a variety of charitable organizations, specially those that protected the welfare of animals. She grew up in the Catholic church and loved the Lord. She was the widow of John R. Tomlinson, Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy (Ret.) and the Smithsonian Institution (Ret.), who died March 11, 2009. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Nate Gross (of Mansfield, TX), and their six children: Brandon (Marshall), Aidan, Colin, Elijah, Quentin, and Ainsley Gross. Family and friends may visit from 11:00 am to 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home, 16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, Maryland. Funeral Service will be held directly following the visitation hour at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham, Maryland.
Published on May 31, 2017
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