PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lois H. Fain died peacefully on April 17. She was a lifelong Rhode Islander. She also enjoyed time in Jupiter, Florida, following retirement and before returning full time to Rhode Island. Most recently, she had been a resident of Tockwotton on the Waterfront in East Providence.
Lois was the proud and happy wife of Burton M. Fain who predeceased her, passing away two days after they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in May 2015. They lived life to its fullest, sharing life’s ups and downs and never forgetting how to laugh.
Born and raised in Providence, Lois was the daughter of Dr. Carl Jagolinzer, a prominent optometrist, and Mrs. Dorothy (Schneidman) Jagolinzer, who died at age 45 before cures for cancer were known. The early loss of her mother would be a hole in Lois’ heart throughout her lifetime, but Lois was forever positive in spirit and outlook, emphasizing the good and full cup of her life. She exclaimed hours before her death “I have had a wonderful life.”
Lois attended John Howland Elementary School, Nathan Bishop Junior High School and Hope High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949 from Pembroke College (later Brown University) and a Master of Teaching from Rhode Island College in 1970. Her husband graduated from Brown two years earlier than Lois and together they were a socially active couple and proud supporters of “everything Brown.” Active in the Brown Association of Class Officers, Lois served as president and vice president of her class, chaired her class’ 10th, 25th, 40th and 45th reunions. In 1994, she received the Alumni Service Award.
Lois was a dedicated teacher of the deaf and taught at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf from 1970 to 1988. Her interest in the deaf developed early, during her college years, when she worked at a summer camp in Maine attended by many deaf children and later volunteered at the RI School for the Deaf. As a teacher, she became a model for many student teachers from Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., who worked with Lois. She opened up the world for her students on visits to Roger Williams Park and even to Ellis Island in New York. She was certified to teach deaf, hard of hearing and physically disabled students. She was by any measure an outstanding teacher.
Lois’ life was typified by a saying that she repeated often: “One day at a time”. Her niece actually found a small pillow with this saying and it stayed near until her death. Lois was easy to be around, very pragmatic and had incredible patience as well.
Lois is survived by her niece Barbara Goldsmith of Warwick and nephew David Goldsmith of Harmony, son Frederick Fain and grandsons Michael Fain and Grant Rodgers, and many loving nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews and other lifelong and special friends. Lois was predeceased by her husband and by her daughter Debra Fain.
Lois’ life was filled with much joy and warmth. She loved to entertain – birthdays, anniversaries, traditional Jewish holidays, special events, many other occasions – and often had groups of friends and family to her home for delicious and gracious meals always served with “class.” She also regularly had students to her home and they especially loved the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” (their choice) lunches served there. Her garden, notably on Balton Road in Providence where she and her
husband lived for many years, was superb and its beauty lent itself to easy gatherings on the very large backyard deck overlooking an amazing array of flowers. She was a loyal friend and a very devoted wife, daughter, sister, niece, daughter in law and aunt. She especially loved her time in Florida and their home on the ocean.
She and Burt were fortunate to travel widely and notably to spend time in China where Burt had business interests before most other people did. Before her death, she gave her niece Barbara a set of papers with notes on various parts of her life and what had the most meaning to her. Among these items not yet mentioned here: she loved to bake, especially mandelbreit and chocolate macaroons, and she made the best ice cream pie in creation. She also loved card games – mahjong and canasta and more – and sewing and quilting and she would regularly gather with friends for all. She was a member of the Narragansett Bay Quilters, played piano including as an active member of the Chaminade Club in Providence and in recitals at the Music Mansion.
She was a volunteer at RISD, a member of Temple Emanu-El and later Temple Beth-El, the National Council of Jewish Women and served as the local advisor for the RI unit of the girls youth group called “Councilettes” at one point. She was a proud co-founder of the annual Dorothy and Carl Jagolinzer Commencement Concert of Brown University’s Music Department, which she established in 1981 with her sister Marion Goldsmith in memory of their parents. She also was integral to the establishment of Camp Dotty, part of The Tomorrow Fund at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, set up in memory of her niece Dorothy Goldsmith Jansma in 1998. She was involved in many civic and service activities and was a Save the Children sponsor of a child in Bangladesh.
Donations may be sent to the Brown University Music Department, Attn: Dorothy and Carl Jagolinzer Memorial Concert, P.O. Box 1924, 1 Young Orchard Ave., Providence, RI 02912 or the charity of your choice.