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Lois J. Baumunk 1936-2013

February 7, 2013
Emmetsburg News

MILAN, IL -- Lois Baumunk, 76, of Milan, IL, passed peacefully at her home on Friday morning, Feb. 1, 2013.

No services are currently planned. A celebration of Lois' life will be announced later in the spring. Friends and family will be invited to share stories about Lois, and anyone who knew her, has a story, usually a funny one.

In lieu of flowers, donations to be designated later, may be made to the family through Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, 201 East 4th Ave, Milan, IL 61264.

Lois was born in Emmetsburg, Aug. 1, 1936, to Earl and Gladys Darling, grew up on a farm near Mallard, graduated in town, attended business school in Minneapolis, MN, and worked in a bank there before returning to northwest Iowa and getting a job at the bank in Laurens.

Lois Darling married Kenneth Baumunk on April 20, 1957, and they lived in Laurens for several years. Lois spent time as a homemaker, raising their two children. In 1968, the family moved into her childhood farmhouse in Mallard. They lived in that home until 1984, when Ken and Lois moved to Milan, IL.

Lois learned to sew as a child and was an exceptional seamstress, and made clothing for herself and her family all of her life. She recently enjoyed making a doctor's uniform for 3-year old great-grand-daughter, Bella, and sleepers for great-grandson, Owen. She was a talented artist, who learned to paint, and then went on to teach others. She was a poet, who wrote funny poems for all types of occasions, that sometimes included her children's homework. Lois enjoyed acting in community theater productions in Mallard, often brought the house down with her antics.

Lois was a designer, carpenter, cabinet and furniture maker. She started by building an addition onto the family's first home, then decorated, redecorated, renovated and remodeled all of their homes. She displayed her unique and creative style throughout each of them. Having moved and/or remodeled her kitchen six times in 28 years, it became an inside joke that if her kids got a call from her, saying she had something to show them, they would ask if she had moved the kitchen again.

Lois was a successful entrepreneur her entire life. While her children were small, she started making and selling Barbie doll clothing. She had a very successful upholstery business. She, and best friend, Phyllis Sadler, opened the Knit-Wit Shop in 1971, in Mallard. It was a fabric store, with upholstery shop in the rear. She later moved the shop to Emmetsburg, ultimately purchased the Cotton Shop, a well-known fabric store in downtown Emmetsburg.

After moving to Milan, she sold Singer Sewing machines in Sew-Fro fabric stores throughout the Quad Cities. She had a shop in Milan, and later the East Village in Davenport, selling her own and others' handmade craft items, along with antiques.

Tiring of the retail world, she started a drapery business, making window treatments for local interior designers. It was during this juncture that Lois became an inventor. She came up with a gadget for folding pinch-pleated draperies. The device was then developed and sold by Rowley, a drapery supply company, and is still featured in their product line.

Lois "retired" in 2000, to center on a renewed passion for quilting. It wasn't long however, and she began an award-winning long-arm quilting business, as the "Quilt Diva." It was just a year ago that she quit working for others to focus on her own projects, many for family.

Lois had a number of people she considered family, and many friends with whom she shared interests, knowledge, and laughs. She enjoyed going to the Scamper Inn and provided much entertainment at one of the big tables, sharing jokes and stories. She was an outspoken, talented, funny, generous and loving woman who will be missed by many.

She is survived by her husband Kenny, of Milan, IL; daughter Kimberly Darling, her husband Daniel Goranson of Davenport; son, Mark Baumunk, his wife Linda, of Mauston, WI; five grandchildren, Michael (Mary) Baumunk, of Mauston, WI; Megan Baumunk of Madison, WI;. and Joey Baumunk of Mauston, WI; and Paul (Kim) Goranson; and Timothy Goranson, all of Dubuque; and two great-grandchildren, Bella and Owen, children of Michael.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, and brothers Bill and Don Darling.

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