Remembering Lois Weeth whose life passion was the study of plants

Lois attended Whittier School in Berkeley and had a long-time connection with the University of California.

Lois Margaret Weston Weeth died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 97. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt and friend who lived a full life.

Born in Los Angeles, Lois was given the nickname “Spot” for her many freckles. By the age of four she already knew her life’s passion: the study of plants. She was supported by her creative and hardworking parents, Joseph and Carol Weston, and her two rambunctious brothers, Robert and Joe Jr.

When the Weston family lived in Berkeley, Lois went to Whittier School, and her brother Robert went to UC Berkeley.

Lois had a long-time connection with the University of California. When she was there, she was one of the few female students at UC Davis, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Pathology in 1943.

Her dedication to UC and her outgoing and practical nature led her to become president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, chair of the UC Davis Foundation,and ex-officio member of University of California Board of Regents. Later in life she continued her association with the University by being a docent at the UC Davis Arboretum and Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Lois met her husband-to-be, Harold Weeth, at UC Davis. They married in 1944 after he finished his studies and served in WWII. They moved to Coalinga, CA, where they established the Weeth Ranch, primarily growing alfalfa, barley and cotton. Lois managed the accounts and daily logistics of running the ranch while raising her two children, JoAnn and Fritz. Eventually, she moved back to Davis, and then Bodega Bay following her divorce with her husband in 1980.

She endured many hardships throughout her life, including a particularly tragic string of deaths over the course of two years. She lost her older brother and mother months apart, and then her son in-law Herbert Wildenradt and 1-year-old granddaughter Elizabeth died in a tragic plane crash. Her daughter JoAnn survived the crash and they later traveled together extensively through Europe leading plant and garden tours. Sadly, JoAnn also died unexpectedly in 2008.

This heartbreak did not keep Lois from being her ever curious and gregarious self. She continued to seek out adventures and new ways of connecting to the world. She spent many summers in the Sierras often accompanied by her great niece and nephew, Ariel and Alex. She led them on hikes and kayaking trips, cataloging the many plants that grew in the area. Rarely did Lois leave a place where she travelled without making lifelong friends and identifying the area’s local flora.

Lois’ resiliency never wavered. With a diagnosis of macular degeneration, she decided to move from her beautiful home in Bodega Bay to Pacific Grove, where she could be closer to her son Fritz and his wife Lola, and where supportive services would be more readily available. Continuing to explore California she discovered a type of oak tree not previously known in the Boonville area, which led to further research and collaboration with Dr. John Tucker, a world renown oak expert.

Lois was inquisitive, highly intelligent and eager to share her knowledge. She was outgoing and genuinely interested in the people that she met. Generous in spirit she was ready to listen and give good council. Up until the last few months of her life she was as sharp as ever, maintaining her interests in plants, the natural world, her family, and many, many friends.

She is greatly missed.

Lois is survived by brother Joseph Weston, son Fritz Weeth, grandsons Joe and Brent Weeth, great grandchildren Caitlyn and Ryan Weeth, nieces Caskey Weston, Suzanne Jellison, Ravenna Dirks, Jennifer Hanson, Melissa Andrezewjewski, and nephew Matthew Weston, and great nieces and nephews, Alex and Ariel Hirsch, Andy Weston, Sara Montero, Will Hanson, Lauren Malone, Julia Walsh, and Emily De Long.