Anyone who knows Lois Farmer knows her quick smile, her uplifting attitude and her willingness to lend a helping hand.
She even takes dessert to the Osage Beach Public Works Department a couple of times a year because she says the workers are under appreciated.
Farmer, Osage Beach Ward 2 alderman, was rewarded for her can-do spirit and her volunteerism when she received the Missouri Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award. She was presented a framed declaration by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder at the Awards Banquet May 8 at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Farmer was nominated by State Rep. Diane Franklin, who was present at a March Osage Beach Board meeting to present a Certificate of Recognition for her exemplary service. That was a prelude to Farmer being named a Senior Service Award winner.
"I was stunned when Diane came to the meeting and read the recognition to me," Farmer said.
She was even more grateful when she learned of the honor from the lieutenant governor.
"I wouldn't trade my life for the richest person in the world," she said. "I have a wonderful life."
But in typical fashion, Farmer didn't take credit for the award. She made sure she presented the plaque to the city of Osage Beach, noting that nobody from the city has ever won the award.
"I would not have the award if it wasn't for the city," she said, "and I think they should have it."
Farmer has served the city as an alderman for 8 years, but her service goes beyond the confines of the city hall. She makes sure the Public Works crew has her famous Pineapple Upside Down Cake. She once spent a day on the roof at Hy-Vee Service Station for the annual Special Olympics Cops on Top project. She's ridden with Osage Police Department officers Pete Leyva and Sam Ford to get a better understand of the OBPD's duties.
She was instrumental in getting a traffic light installed at Nichols Road and Osage Beach Parkway (before it was the parkway), an accomplishment for which she was thanked by an anonymous individual at the awards ceremony. The walking trail along Dude Ranch Road from Nichols Road is also one of her successes.
Farmer served on the Camden County Library Board and has been a volunteer (1,000 hours-plus) at the Lake Regional Hospital gift shop.
"I not one to sit around and do nothing," she smiled.
Farmer and her husband Les (whom she affectionately calls "Farmer") moved to the lake 17 years ago. They first were weekenders and then built their home off Dude Ranch Road in 1994. Les retired from the Air Force in 1977, and even her time as an Air Force wife involved lots of volunteering for the NCO and Air Force wives' club.
Page 2 of 2 - The Senior Service Award may be the pinnacle of Farmer's years of giving back to her various communities and organizations, but it's doubtful she will lose her spirit. The award sums up her dedication by saying that Lois:
"…has demonstrated she possesses the heart of a true servant by dedicating more than 200 hours per year to volunteer organizations.
"…her selfless commitment to serving and helping those around her makes a lasting impact on her community and those whose lives she has touched."