Lois Jane Bicknell was born September 9, 1944 to Clifford A. and Lilian Jane Fowler Bicknell in Blackpool, England. Cliff was stationed in Blackpool during WWII where he met and soon married Lilian, a young war widow who had one son, Colin F. (Frank) Fake. At the end of the War in 1945, Cliff returned with other troops to the US. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Cliff went to Salt Lake City, Utah where his parents lived. He lived and worked there until Lilian and the children joined him from England. Because Lilian was a war bride, it took several months before they were cleared to leave England for the United States. Lilian, Frank, who was 10, and Lois who was 18 months old, sailed the nine-day journey from Southampton, England to the States on the liner Queen Mary. Lilian and her two children were among six English War brides and two other children along with several other travelers. The war brides and their children could not travel “first class”; they were restricted to the “third class” section below, where it made for a miserable trip. They arrived in New York in March 1946 and then traveled by train to Salt Lake City, Utah. Cliff and Lilian moved their family to Caselton, Nevada sometime in 1946 after Cliff had read in the Salt Lake City Tribune about the mines hiring there. They lived in Caselton until 1950 when they bought their home in Panaca.
Lois attended Panaca Elementary School and Lincoln County High School. Growing up, Lois was always carefree, fun-loving and somewhat daring, surviving several mishaps. When she was about 3, her brother Frank gave her a ride on the back of his bike. She was having a fun time until she got her foot caught in the spokes of the wheel and broke her leg. Later, after the family moved to Panaca, she and her sister Carol would go to their neighbor’s house on occasion to see their dairy cows and other farm animals. There were four brothers there who were about Lois and Carol’s age. They had a bull calf which they dared Lois to ride. She accepted the challenge and the boys helped her get on the calf. While riding it, she saw a large mud puddle ahead of her and jumped off the calf so she wouldn’t get muddy from splashing in the puddle. Sadly, she landed on her shoulder and broke her upper arm which required surgery. In spite of these and other mishaps experienced by Lois and her brother and sisters, they had a happy childhood growing up, making fond memories along the way.
After high school, Lois met and married Ralph Riley and they moved to Leadville, Colorado where they had a daughter, Michelle. Several years later Lois and Ralph divorced and Lois and Michelle moved to Panaca. Sometime later, she and Alvin Cox met and were married. From that union, they had one son, William (Bill) Clifford Cox. After several years of marriage, Lois and Al divorced. Lois went to Colorado Springs, CO where her daughter, Michelle, was living. While there, Lois met Dexter Mahlum who was stationed at Ft. Carson Army Post. They married in 1984. A short time later, Dexter was transferred to Germany where he and Lois lived for 5 years. Bill lived with them for a year in Germany and attended his junior year of high school there. He enjoyed his high school experience, especially being able to wrestle in the wrestling program. After leaving Germany, Dexter was transferred to Ft. Riley in Manhattan KS where he retired from the Army in 1992. Due to lack of full time employment, Dexter and Lois moved to Independence, KS where they made their home.
Lois passed away quietly at their home on March 17, 2021, with her devoted and loving husband of 36 years, Dexter, by her side.
Lois is survived by her husband, Dexter, her son, Bill (Jodie) Cox, Grandchildren Tanner (Kenzie), Hailey, and Cooper Cox, Grandson Drew Barrett, Sisters Rose Johnny, Carol (Dave) Miller, half-sister Bonnie (Bill) Bicknell Knight, and Brother Frank (Juanita) Fake and numerous nieces and nephews. Lois is preceded in death by her parents Cliff and Lilian Bicknell, daughter, Michelle Barrette, and nephew, Timmy Galloway.