Remembering Lois Rindner 
(
May 17, 1942, to February 13, 2011)

  

"The Girl Can't Help It"

By Howie Levy
  

  

When we were all in high school together, Lois Rindner was an extremely popular and beautiful young woman, vibrant, vivacious and yes, even voluptuous! She sure had "a lot of what they call 'the most'." We were neighbors as kids, a block away from each other, and I was very fond of her.

Often addressed by her many, many friends, both girls and guys, with the unique greeting, "Hi, Lo," Lois was active in many school activities, and she loved her high school experience. She signed my yearbook, "For Howie, the coolest of the crew." I liked that. But, of course, she couldn't help it. "She was born to please!"

About 40 years after high school, Lois wrote me and said, "I do remember all of my sorority sisters. Also, what a great bunch of guys in that school. ...We were so cool, and ... I loved high school. It was so easy and so much fun (except for Algebra, of course)."

And Lois loved Little Richard's music!

  

                  

A playful moment before the camera with some girlfriends (Sue Schlesinger, Gay Rose, Audrey Schneiderman and Carole Cohen), March 1956

  
    Here are the loving words of Lois' sister, Sharon ('61):
 

"My sister, Lois, was one of the most positive people Iíve known. She always had a smile and an optimistic spin on any situation. As a little girl, she would run around the house singing, ďIím happy googy!Ē She almost never complained. No matter what befell her, she took it in her stride and made the best of it. She was a student of metaphysics and ultimately the Kabala and did her best to incorporate spiritual values into her life as well as passing them on to others.  

"She had many friends throughout her life, reflecting her popularity in high school. Lois adored her son, Joshua, and made him the center of her life. He, in turn, loved her and stood by her in good times and through her long illness. Lois had a lusty sense of humor and was always ready to laugh. We didnít always agree, but she was never judgmental and accepted and loved me for myself.

"Lois was not materialistic and lived a simple life, appreciating the small things. She was always self- confident and was beautiful in the flesh when she was young and in the spirit as she aged. I wish she had taken better care of herself and her health. Instead, she trusted in the universe, accepting the consequences with equanimity. Her spirited and spiritual being will be missed."

 Lois in her drill team uniform, 1959
  

And from their younger brother, Mark ('65):

  

"Thinking about LoisÖ 

"Growing up in Oceanside in the '50s and '60s, Lois was to me what you might call the American Teenager. She knew guys with cars and boats and who played sports, she had parties and friends and good grades and seemed to be having a ball.  I remember one day, a guy took Lois and me out on a real speedboat, one with a steering wheel and upholstered seats, and we went to Jones Beach and walked around. I remember they treated me like one of their friends Ė not so much like a little brother. I felt really special, and thought life would maybe have some really cool things in store for me if I could just get a little older, just a little faster. Lois was five years older than me. It seemed like an eternity. Iíd never catch up.

"One time, a car pulled up in front of our house on E. Henrietta Avenue and honked the horn. Everyone looked outside to see what was going on. Apparently, some of Loisís friends were signaling for her to come out and go drive somewhere with them. She got up to join them when my father, Julie. decided to stage an intervention. Any young man who expected to date or even casually hang out with his daughter had damn well better park his car, comb his hair, walk up to the house, and ring the bell! Then Julie would have a few words with the young man and decide if things were to go forward as planned. On this occasion, Julie walked out to the car instead of Lois. He leaned into the driverís window. I was going nuts. My dad was going get into a fight right in front of our house. A few minutes passed. Finally, Julie came back and told Lois it was OK to go do her thing with these boys today, but the rules had been set. No jumping up at the honk of a horn! These boys would have to be jumping through some hoops if they wanted to share the company of a girl so fine as Lois Rindner.

"High school ended for Lois, but I was still stuck in the mire of junior high. She went on to attend Hofstra, studied music and drama and was Madeline Kahnís understudy in the drama departmentís annual play. She also met a guy and got married. The guy was a pip, to say the least. Jim Richards was what we used to describe as 'a pisser.' He told jokes of a scatological nature [i.e., toilet humor] in front of my parents (Bea and Julie), who blushed but laughed just like we kids did. He made funny faces and he had a quick retort for every occasion. He got away with all this because he was very smart in high school (valedictorian Ė it was official). The wedding came and went, they moved out to Lake Ronkonkoma and had a house before I even had a learner's permit. But it wasnít meant to be, and Lois and Jim parted ways.

"So much time has passed since those days. Lois returned to Hofstra, and she and I were on campus the same time for some years. I graduated and moved to Florida, and eventually, Lois and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Kassover, moved down also. We had some very good times together. Then, she left Florida for Providence, Rhode Island, and moved to Redding and then Danbury, Connecticut. Josh was born in Kingston, New York in 1976. A new stage of Loisís life was opening. Lois did everything she could to raise Josh and give him a home and a life. She worked as a research assistant studying the Shroud of Turin. This fit right in with her interest in the occult and the spiritual. Josh grew up, moved to San Antonio, and Lois followed shortly after.

"The one thing I felt most strongly was Loisí love for me and her family. Whenever I called her, it felt like her world would stop and re-focus on me no matter what was going on around her. She had the same love in her voice as I remember my father had when he spoke to me on the phone later in his life. And when the subject turned to her son, Joshua, a light came on that seemed to fill her being. She often lamented that he worked too hard, too many hours. But she was proud of that same work ethic and of his dedication to his career. And finally, she was very happy that he and Marisol had found each other and were making a life together.

"The times we shared in Oceanside, the family trips in the car, the family circle meetings, the Seders at Uncle Louisí house Ė Lois, Sharon and me Ė we were always 'the kids.' We had lots of laughs.

     Josh and Sharon, October 1989

"I guess itís only fitting to be sitting here shedding a few tears in her memory."

 

And according to classmate, Susan Rooder (seen by many as Lois' best friend in high school):

"The last time I saw or spoke with Lois was our high school graduation. Somehow, we lost touch after that. But my memories prior to that was of a beautiful girl who seemed to have it all; she was smart, a boy-magnet and was full of energy and very sweet. How very sad. At least now, she can rest in peace." 

  

Following is a series of mostly undated photos, believed to be roughly in chronological order:

   
                         

          With Sharon (at left)

  
        
  
                     
  
 
  
 
   
 
                              With Josh (at his Bar Mitzvah),  October  1989
 

The many paths taken during her life after high school, and the many new friendships she easily made along the way, resulted in Lois losing virtually all of her high school connections such that our first three reunion

 

committees were unable locate her for any of our reunions. Finally, after 40 years of no contact, with the aid of the internet, I located Lois' younger brother, Mark ('65), in July 2000. Within one hour of my leaving a message on Mark's answering machine, I got a call from Lois. She was unable on such short notice to attend our 40-year reunion that month. But beginning with that call in 2000, I stayed in contact with her, and arranged for her to visit me and my wife in Las Vegas for my 60th birthday in 2002. That was the first, last and only time I saw Lois since high school. It was during that five-day stay that Lois said one of the nicest, most unforgettable things anybody ever said to me. She said, "Howie, being here with you is like being with family." (She was particularly pleased to recall that our fathers, both gone since the late 1980s, were also friends.)

Lois and me at my 60th birthday party,
October 2002

   

Sadly, as Sharon mentioned, our dear friend, Lois, was sick for many years before she passed on. By the time she came to Vegas to visit me in 2002, she was in relatively advanced stages of both rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes and later developed severe kidney disease. She was no longer able to travel after that, and although she loved high school, because of her illness, Lois never got to attend either of our subsequent reunions in 2005 or 2010. And for the last year and a half or so prior to her passing, Lois was largely confined to a nursing home receiving dialysis treatments three times a week.

 
  Lois on her 68th birthday in 2010
  

Very few of us ever saw Lois during the last 50 years of her life, but for the rest of ours, we will all remember her the wonderful way she was. We just can't help it.

 

On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Lois' remains were brought to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens by her devoted son, Josh, and his wife, Marisol. May God rest her sweet soul in eternal peace.

Click on the star at left to view a short video of those few tranquil moments with nature.

Come back to this special memorial page now and then when you are thinking of Lois or to see if anything has been added. And if you would like to add anything about Lois, please write me.

Classmates and other visitors are invited to submit material for a special
memorial page like this for any other departed classmate. Just e-mail it to me.

Howie                      

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