1943 – 2019
Lois was born in New Mexico, daughter of Adam Zalonka, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and mother Eula, who was a stay at home mom with her three kids. Eula eventually became a real estate broker. They moved around a lot as a military family. They lived in Japan for several years.
Lois went to Victorville High School where she excelled in writing and speech competitions and was a cheerleader for the basketball team—which James Mearig, her eventual husband, played on. Lois and James married at 19 years old and were married for 23 years.
They moved to Santa Barbara in 1964 with baby in tow. Lois was a real estate agent and managed Century 21. She then moved to Coldwell Banker where she was a real estate broker and vice president of the company. Lois was an incredible artist, loved music and adored her grandkids. She remarried Dr. Van Hamilton and they were married for 31 years, until his passing last year.
Lois was highly respected in the community for her activism work after retirement. She was very generous where she saw a need, especially with animal causes, human rights and the environment. Lois had a heart of gold and was the warmest, loving, giving person. Lois would do anything for anybody. She was a total sweetheart.
Lois is survived by her only child, daughter Kim Mearig, and her husband, Brian Gruetzmacher, and their kids, Justin Gruetzmacher and Kaitlyn Richards, and her husband Tanner Richards. She is also survived by her younger sister and two nieces.
Lois’ ashes will be spread at sea in an intimate celebration of her life on the family boat with the immediate family.