Lois Barton was born in Salem, Ohio on April 1, 1918, the daughter of Howard and Edith (Kirk) Holloway. She was second born of six children, four of whom lived to adulthood. Her early years were spent on a dairy farm where she learned to milk by the age of six and d rive a tractor as soon as she could steer it. Her education included several partial school years south of Miami, Florida where her dad was sharecropping. She later graduated from Olney Friends School.
Lois was a twelfth generation Friend. She was active in the Quaker Peace Movement from the age of twenty. After three years in Philadelphia working as a Mother's helper in a Quaker family, she spent one school year as a substitute teacher at Tunesassa, a Quaker Boarding School in western New York. She devoted three years to her elderly Grandmother in Winona, Ohio where she also worked as a local switchboard operator and attended Business College. Lois attended Schauffler College in Cleveland, then went as a summer volunteer to Byberry State Mental Hospital in Philadelphia. At Byberry in 1944, she met Harold Barton who was there doing alternative service work.
Lois and Hal were married in March of 1945. Their two oldest children were born in Philadelphia, where the family continued to live for three and a half years. In November of 1948, they moved to Oregon, Hal's native state, where they were involved in the founding of Eugene Friends Meeting. Lois was fully and richly involved in the Meeting for the rest of her life. Because of her spiritual strength and dedication, she was highly respected and loved. Eugene Friends relied on her faithful, faith-filled service year in and year out to support the Meeting in its everyday functions as well as to help ground the spiritual center of the Meeting. Lois provided witness and guidance to numerous Friends through their marriage clearness and membership processes, offering, through her presence and actions, a clear example of living in the Light. The welcoming atmosphere that lives on at Eugene Friends Meeting originated with the tone of warmth and inclusion that Lois and a few other weighty Friends set for this community from the beginning. Lois Barton was the last surviving founding member of Eugene Friends Meeting.
In 1952, Hal and Lois moved to a farm south of Eugene where they raised their family, eventually including eight children. Lois' strong work ethic enabled her to help provide sustenance for her growing family from a large vegetable garden, orchard and various farm animals. Of ten when the children came home from school, they were greeted by the wonderful aroma of homemade bread. Lois created a safe and loving environment for her family. Her spiritual and physical strength blessed not only her family, but neighbors and countless others over her long life.
As her youngest reached school age, Lois' vital and inquisitive interest in life and history led to prolific writing. She edited the Lane County Historian for thirteen years, wrote for magazines and published nine books. Her many interests and activities included drawing and painting, gardening, caring for animals, canning and freezing (on a major scale!), braiding rugs, cider and soap making, Reiki training, bird watching and much more. Lois Barton was an inspiration to all who knew her, a role model for many.