Amy Lois Gustafson Best, 95, died peacefully at her home in Chapel Hill, NC, the morning of July 23, 2014. Book lover, research librarian, devoted wife and mother, her family and friends miss her dearly.
Born on May 4, 1919, in Baltimore, MD, the daughter of Arthur Gustafson and Amy Anderson, Lois was raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated from the University of Chicago, attending during the Great Depression with the support of the Daughters of Sweden. Lois married Alden Anderson who became a Navy pilot. She gave birth to her first son, Charles, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1943 while her husband was at war; a week later Lt. Anderson was killed in flight during the invasion of Sicily. Lois returned to Chicago with her infant son, lived with her parents and went to work. There she met and married Winfield Best in 1948. Together they had two more children, a son, Mark, and a daughter, Constance. They raised the family in Rye, NY. Winfield served in the leadership of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Lois managed the household and volunteered at the Rye Free Reading Room. Lois returned to school to earn her Masters in Library Science at Pratt Institute. After working at Rye High School she helped create the library collection for the new State University of New York arts campus in Purchase, NY, as the art history specialist. When her husband took a position at the University of North Carolina Population Institute, the couple moved to Chapel Hill in 1973. Lois continued her work as a research librarian at the UNC Law Library and the North Carolina Institute of Government, retiring at 70. She took care of Winfield as he battled Parkinson’s Disease, and survived him by ten years. An avid swimmer, Lois is remembered also for her love of the arts, bridge and children. Most especially we remember her smile, her kindness and modesty, her quiet wit, her deeply held progressive values, her courage and resilience.
In addition to her three children, Lois is survived by her grandson, Elliott Wayburn-Best, by Laurie Wayburn, partner of Constance, and by Bill Walker, husband of Charles.
A memorial service for Lois will be held at the Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, at 2:30 PM on Saturday August, 23, followed by a celebration of her life at 4 PM at the Sienna Hotel, 1505 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. Memorial gifts may be made in her honor to the Pacific Forest Trust, 1001-A O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129.