Lois Henderson Chism: A Life of Service
Lois Henderson Chism, 93, of Memphis passed on Sunday, October 1, 2017 surrounded by her loving family.
Lois was born in Memphis, TN on January 2, 1924 to the late Blanchie and Scnear Henderson and raised by stepfather James “Jim” Finley.
Lois professed Christ at an early age. Her lifestyle was the epitome of Biblical beliefs, practices, and traditions, which she imparted to her children as well as to all others who came in contact with her.
Lois was a true warrior, a drum major for the family, and one who loved life. She grew up and attended school in Memphis, TN and Tillatoba, MS where she excelled in academics, poetry, and basketball. Also, she is a graduate of Allura School of Cosmetology located on Vance Ave, Memphis, TN. While growing up and to this day, she demonstrated superior skills as she constantly shared information about family histories and our changing roles in American and world history.
In 1943, Lois married Sidney Chism Sr. in Glendora, MS and to this union, sixteen children were born. There children all graduated from Memphis City Schools. Her six girls have college degrees and her seven sons are skilled craftsmen and/or college degreed. Her leadership inspired such occupations as realtor, painters, plumbers, teachers, administrator, LT. Colonel in Memphis Police Department, Import Specialist-Licensed Broker and major business owners.
Lois’ life work has been the sum total of her past experiences, always planned and expected her children to be economically and financially “better off” than the circumstances she grew up with. Since, she always dreamed of a college education and professional career, which was delayed after meeting her life partner, Sidney Chism Sr. Marriage and family required her to adjust her ambition of a college education. Therefore, she decided to dream bigger. Her goal was to raise a family using all of her wisdom, energy and capabilities to educate her children to become captains of industry, educators, business owners, etc.
Lois Henderson Chism was a visionary, entrepreneur, planner and servant leader; a true Kingmaker inspiring multiple generations of Black kids to achieve a level of success that eludes our education system and the Black race. As part of her Master Plan for success, her children continue her life work of Education, Leadership and Service. Her accomplishments will be hard to exceed but the 45 grandchildren and 60 plus great grandchildren are working faithfully to live up to her standards.
She is survived by one sister Dorothy Chism Joyner (Rev. James Joyner) and brother Michael Henderson (Barbara), seven sons Sidney Chism, Paul Chism (Kala), Mack Chism (Janice), Maurice Chism (Patricia), Jackie Chism (Lisa), John Chism (Lisa) and Terry Chism (Kasek).and six daughters, Juanita Richardson (Walter), Carolyn Hardy (Marino), Debra Dye (Cornell), Loris Hopkins, Doris Hardiman and Kathy Guy (Darrell), 45 grandchildren and 60 great grandchildren and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. The immediate family members who preceded her in death are her loving husband, Sidney Sr., sisters, Marzette Quinn and R L Joyce, and, two sons, Scnear “Sonny” and Frank Alexander “Mickey” and a daughter, Marzette.
Gone but not forgotten, although we are apart, God has you in his keeping, we will forever have you in our hearts.