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Published: Monday, 6/29/2009

Delta-area farm wife kept diaries 55 years

DELTA, Ohio - Lois L. Falor, 84, a hardworking farmer's wife who day by day chronicled nearly 55 years of personal history in her diary books, died Saturday at her home.

Her death followed a recurring battle with breast cancer, her daughter Barbara Falor-Stewart said.

Mrs. Falor and her late husband, Robert, lived and worked on a 250-acre farm just west of Delta.

She occasionally wrote firsthand accounts for the Farmland News, a weekly newspaper in Archbold, Ohio.

But most of her writing was in her diaries.

As a young woman she began to make daily entries in then-popular five year diary books, which organized the events of a single calendar date onto a single page for each of the five years.

The books provided a set amount of space in which Mrs. Falor condensed all of her day's happenings and thoughts, along with the high and low temperature, her daughter said.

"You only had about a paragraph to write in, but she could cram in a lot of stuff," Mrs. Falor-Stewart said. "She was very faithful about it and it became a habit that was very important to her."

Mrs. Falor's daughters couldn't say for sure when or why their mother started keeping the diary, but they said she enjoyed flipping through the books to share what happened on a certain day.

She kept at least 11 diary books, accounting for about 55 years of history, and never missed a day of journaling. "Even if she was in the hospital, the diary was with her," her daughter said.

She considered her entries a matter of family record. Some entries, such as the days of her children's births, were quite momentous. Most were relatively common.

But Mrs. Falor-Stewart recalled how a phone call could begin with "Do you know what happened eight years ago today?"

Mrs. Falor continued writing in the diaries until the final two days of her life, when she no longer could.

Her daughter read aloud one of the last entries, also one of the shortest: "A day of sleep. A day of memories. So tired."

She was born Lois L. Roddy on April 25, 1925, on her grandmother's farm south of Pettisville in Fulton County, one of five children of Ethel and Henry Roddy.

Her father died when she was 12.

She and Robert Falor married in 1946, and she devoted herself to helping him and his brother Wendell run the family farm.

She raised chickens, canned food, and cooked meals for up to 15 farmhands, in addition to the household responsibilities of rearing three daughters.

"She was an extremely hard worker and always busy," her daughter said.

Mr. Roddy died in 2002.

Surviving are her daughters, Randy Falor, Janet Falor, and Barbara Falor-Stewart, sister, Margaret Hines, brother, Stanley Roddy, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Barnes Funeral Chapel, Delta, where the funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The family suggests tributes to Swan Creek Church of the Brethren, where she was a member, or the American Cancer Society.



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