Lois Mae Koelzer

Lois Mae Koelzer

July 25, 1927 – January 3, 2024

With great sorrow we announce the passing of our brave, caring and generous mother, grandmother and friend, Lois Mae (Preister) (Dodendorf) Koelzer, 96, of Omaha, NE who passed away January 3, 2024.

Lois was born at home in Humphrey, NE on July 25, 1927. She was the third child and first daughter of eight children in a Catholic close-knit family. Her father, John S. (Jack) Preister, was a US Rural Postman, and her mother, Barbara T. (Babl/Babel) Preister, was a traditional homemaker. Growing up, Lois was an excellent student. She attended St. Francis Grade School and St. Francis High School. After her graduation in 1945, she moved to Omaha, NE. Lois found an apartment, and later obtained a job at the Union Pacific Railroad. After WWII, when the men returned from their military service, she had to relinquish her job. She decided to move to Columbus, NE and worked as a secretary for Consumers Public Power Co. While in Columbus, she met Jack Hughitt Dodendorf (a WWII Navy vet) through mutual friends. After a six-month courtship, she married Jack on October 30, 1946, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Humphrey, NE. Together, Lois and Jack had seven children (five girls and two boys).

Like most mothers at this time, Lois worked as a homemaker when her children were young. She was an incredibly talented seamstress (as was her mother before her) and she ran a small sewing business in her home for extra money. She also earned extra income from home by typing for various companies. After her children were grown, Lois secured employment as a secretary, first for an insurance company and then for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. In 1980, Jack and Lois moved to a riverside home on the Platte River near Bellwood, NE. Lois enjoyed spending her time walking with friends, reading, crocheting, or working on various needlework projects. She loved to have her family visit them on their “farm” and show off her amazing garden of flowers and vegetables. She truly had a green thumb. However, in 1987, due to Jack’s failing health, they moved back to Omaha. Four years later, Jack died in 1991. In the months that followed, Lois enjoyed exercising with her friends by “walking the mall”. One of these acquaintances introduced Lois to Clarence Koelzer. Lois and Clarence became close companions and later were married in 1994. Clarence (who had seven grown children of his own), and Lois were happily married until his death in 1999.

Lois treasured spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, and was able to find ways to connect with each one of them, even her great grandchildren – she delighted in their visits. Lois also loved all sports! You could frequently find her cheering on her favorite football or basketball team, and she particularly enjoyed watching her Cubbies! Lois was a practical and extremely intelligent woman, who was frequently the “go to” person for assistance or advice from her children. Lois was an outstanding and loving daughter, wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. She raised her family with strong Christian values and never wavered in her faith in God. She will be missed by each member of her surviving family and warmly welcomed into heaven by her many family members.

Lois is preceded in death by her parents, John S. (Jack) and Barbara T. (Babl) Preister, and brothers: Milton, Loren, Roland, Terry, and Norman Preister; sisters: Oda Barry and Carlene Vellutini; husbands: Jack Dodendorf, Sr, and Clarence Koelzer; daughters: Jeri Lynn Ostronic and Barbara J. Simmonds. Her memory lives on with her daughters: Diane Dodendorf, Jeannie Doyle, Laurie Dodendorf-Simon (Paul Simon); sons: Jack Dodendorf, Jr. (Nancy), and James Maverick. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for Lois and her family. Services will be held at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 3405 S. 118th St., on Friday, January 12, 2024 at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mercy High School, 1501 South 48 Street, Omaha, NE 68105 / (402) 553-9424 mercyhigh.org 



  • jeffrey preister Posted January 6, 2024 3:49 pm

    She lived a wonderful life. Thoughts and prayers.

  • Sue Keyser Posted January 8, 2024 11:40 am

    Wonderful tribute! So sorry for your loss hugs

  • Kevin Preister Posted January 8, 2024 3:09 pm

    Lois always seemed inviting and open for anything. She also had a high tolerance for kids when we came to visit! If by her children you will know her, then she did just fine because her kids are top notch! Goodbye, Aunt Lois, save me a spot.

  • Brad and Mary Rice Posted January 12, 2024 9:46 am

    Wish we could be there to celebrate her life. She was a sweet soul. Keeping your family in prayer.

  • Kay And Jack Monzingo Posted January 12, 2024 10:14 am

    We had planned to be there in person but now will be watching the services on live stream. Prayers for Lois and all of you as you celebrate her beautiful life! Sending our love!

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