Lois Allen Haskell Stratton

Lois Allen Haskell Stratton, born February 14, 1935, passed from this earth on November 6, 2017 at 5:56 PM at Georgetown University Hospital, after a brief but valiant struggle against metastatic melanoma. In the midst of her devoted family, she died as she had lived: with grace, courage, humor, and warmth, bringing people together around her.
She was born in Boston, MA, the second of five siblings (Joan Haskell Vicinus, Anne Haskell Knight, Judith Haskell Auchincloss, and Robert Emmons Haskell—who each survive her) to Eben Brown Haskell and Marion Moore Raymond. In 1940, the family moved to Hamden, CT, where she lived a happy childhood with her sisters and brother, attending Putnam Avenue School, Prospect Hill School, and Smith College, where she graduated in 1956 with a BA in Art History. The children spent their summers growing their Victory Gardens (during WWII); at the family home in Rindge, NH, in the shadow of Mt Monadnock; at their aunt and uncle’s farm (Lois and Don Snow) in Haverhill, MA; and at camp with her sisters at Singing Eagle Lodge girls camp on Squam Lake in NH. These experiences fueled some of her lifelong love: gardening, creative communal experiences (such as dramatic skits, costume parties, and singing in the church choir), the Lakes Region of NH, and her sense of the spiritual in nature and in meaningful coincidences. Upon graduation from college, she won a $1000 prize in a nationwide photo competition, which allowed her to shadow her husband, William R Lenderking, Jr, as he completed his naval tour of duty in the Pacific. She would travel on mail boats and steamers to meet Bill at the next port of call. Upon completion of his military service, they settled in New York City while Bill worked as a cub reporter for the NY Times and Lois at the Ford Foundation. In describing life in those days, Bill referred to the couple as “improvident but cheerful.” He soon joined the Foreign Service, and together they had tours in Cuba, Bolivia, and Japan. They had three sons together (William Raymond Lenderking, III, Timothy Allen Lenderking, and Eben Pierce Lenderking).
In 1961, her mother died of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at home, after Lois had come home from Bolivia to help take care of her mother and give birth to her second son. This tragic loss of her mother at age 56 (when Lois was only 27) was a profound experience, which Lois spoke about often throughout her lifetime.
While in Japan, she developed her aesthetic appreciation and design sense, and lived with beautiful objects from Japan for the rest of her life. In 1970, her marriage to Bill ended in divorce. She settled in Washington, DC with her children, where she remained until 1983, when she married William R Stratton, a utility executive, and moved to Tulsa, OK. In 1984-85, Lois and her brother built a house in the Lakes region of NH. Two of her sisters later built or acquired adjacent houses which facilitated family togetherness. While in Washington, she worked for the architect Hugh Jacobson, the Organization of the American States (OAS), and the Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF). While in Tulsa and then later in Dallas, she continued to pursue her international interests by being an active member of the Sister Cities organization. After about 10 years, the couple moved back to Washington, DC. They spent approximately 1 ½ years in Moscow, which Lois absolutely loved, while Will worked as a consultant, as well as a year in Paris. An avid opera and theater-goer, Lois served as a docent at Hillwood Museum, which allowed her to deepen her appreciation of Russian art and culture. She was a member of The Hospitality and Information Service for Diplomats (T.H.I.S., a service organization designed to help diplomats adjust to life in the USA), as well as an active tennis player, a member of the Japan American Cultural society for whom she hosted gatherings, and a member of St Albans Church Congregation and Choir.
Will and Lois enjoyed many summers at the residence in Holderness, NH, which was the site of countless exuberant and fun gatherings with the extended family. In addition to her career in fundraising, Lois also had several enterprises, including importing Guatemalan textiles, making jewelry, and making items out of birch bark, which she loved to exhibit at local crafts fairs in NH.
She was a beautiful, warm, elegant woman who had many friends. Her creative impulses to sing newly composed words to established tunes at family gatherings, to throw costume parties, to sew, and to make things with her hands touched, amused, and inspired many people.
As she drew her final breaths, she faced her fate with courage, grace, and humor, saying she had lived a wonderful life. We who knew and loved her will remain ever touched by her infectious enthusiasm and love of life. She is survived by her husband, three sons, two step-daughters (Elisa Claire Stratton and Ellen Stratton), four siblings, and eight grandchildren (Nicholas Lenderking-Brill, Caleb Lenderking-Brill, Hania Lenderking, Philippa Lenderking, Barnabe Lenderking, Inigo Lenderking, Dylan Schuyler, and Jaime Schuyler). She will be sorely missed, gone from us too soon, may she rest in peace.
Donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, or to St Albans Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

8 Responses to Lois Allen Haskell Stratton

  1. Alice Gow Darius Fekete says:

    Lois was a very good friend of mine and Prospect Hill, and I am delighted to see what a wonderful life she enjoyed thereafter. I am sorry for the pain the family must now endure from losing her, but don’t forget to cherish the memories.

    • William R Lenderking says:

      Dear Alice, Thank you so much for your kind words, glad to know you remembered her with fondness. Our best to you, her son, William Lenderking

  2. Julie Stratton says:

    So incredibly sorry to see her go. I know how much she meant to my brother; I can only imagine the great loss he feels. And, I in turn feel that for him — as well as all of the Lenderking and Stratton family and friends. Will miss her this Army/Navy Game for sure, a tradition that Will, Dick, and Frank Hart and I shared for some five years. Julie

  3. Carol Ruppel says:

    Lois was such a spirit. So many affiliations and so much enthusiasm. We played tennis together for years and she was an active volunteer with the National Symphony Orchestra children’s programs. She sang, sewed, dressed up, hostessed, created, guided and supported. She practiced her Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish and probably other languages regularly. She was a loving mother, sibling stepmother and grandmother and had friends from every stage and walk of her life. And as others said, she could laugh right up until the end.

  4. Linda Hales says:

    I think of Lois as a special color of blue — in her eyes, her scarf, her sky-bright sparkle. We played tennis, a sport at which she excelled at the net and perservered in the rain and muddy clay. And we talked of Hillwood, and shared soup, which she provided to bring like-minded souls together. Only later did I understand what a multifaceted life had brought her to this point. A privilege for me and a loss. My condolences to the family.

  5. Otilia Yanes Fernandez says:

    Bill, and also Tim and Eben,
    I am Otilia Yanes Fernandez, your mother’s friend since the time you were born in La Habana. I am devastated by the news, and have written abouth your Mom an email which I would like to forward to you, and to your brothers and family.
    I am not techno savvy at 83, so I will give you my email so you can contact me. It is [email protected]

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