Avis Louise (Lukins) Monroe, age 81, passed away January 6, 2018 at Liberty Lake, Washington. She was born to George (Bud) and Wilys Claire (Monroe) Lukins in Williston N.D. on July worked as a surveyor-engineer in Alaska constructing runways on military bases in Anchorage and Fairbanks. When these jobs were completed and the family returned to Williston, Avis finished her education graduating with the Class of 1955 from Williston High School. She then attended college at Colorado A&M (now CSU) in Ft. Collins.
After marrying Richard Sisson in Williston, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where 2 sons, Buddy and David were born and Avis was employed by the US Department of Health Education and Welfare (now HHS) in the CDC lab. She worked with the communicable disease section, assisting with flu vaccines and later on AIDS research, working until retirement. Avis then moved to Gainesville, Florida. Because she was a hard worker, instead of enjoying retirement she went to work for USDA in the Fire Ant Project, retiring a second time in 1983.
Moving to Spokane, Washington she enjoyed living across from the duck pond by Manito Park. Again not content with retirement, she enrolled in massage therapy school and when she became certified had her own business for ten years in south Spokane.
A very caring person, Avis volunteered many hours in Atlanta as an organizer in the early days of raising awareness of domestic violence. She also donated her time to the People to People organization in Spokane, and was involved with the Unitarian/Universalist Church for some 30 years. Before her own declining health, she served on a church committee providing support for the disabled; delivering meals, giving rides, or just giving emotional support to those in need. She loved public radio (NPR) and supported them financially. In what little free time she had after volunteering, she loved to sew, cook and attend art, theater, and musical performances.
Avis was a free will woman who had many adventures including camping and traveling, observing nature in the wild and dancing. She especially loved old movies; she wouldn’t leave the theater until she read all the credits at the end of the movie and could name most of the actors that were in each movie. Being stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, she became a resident of Guardian Angels retirement facility in 2011 at Liberty Lake, Washington until her death.
She is survived by her two sons; (Buddy) Richard (Barbara) Sisson and David Sisson; grandson Cole; sister Mary and husband Kenneth Schmidt, (she referred to him as her favorite brother-in-law) of rural Ray, North Dakota; 2 nieces; Anita Schmidt (Ray) Cody and Rebecca Schmidt (Kevin) Kern and nephew Arthur (Margi) Schmidt. Also surviving her are several cousins including Essie Hval Sprague of Salem, Oregon and Rich Coulter of Park Rapids, Minnesota and also cousins in the Spokane area and in California and Idaho.
She was preceded in death by her parents Bud and Wilys Lukins; aunts- Oleta (Ivan) Metzger, Mary (George) Coulter, Geneva Lukins, Esther (Roy) Hval, Ruth (Hodges) Burton; uncles- Bill (Lois) Lukins, and CDR Fred (Nelda) Lukins USN, Ret.; Fred Foss, Clarence Hodges; cousins George Coulter, Wilys Claire Nelson, Jim Hval and John Hval.
Avis’ family would like to express gratitude for the thoughtful care given as Avis at the Guardian Angel Homes in Liberty Lake, Washington and Hospice of Spokane and to the caregivers that are so dedicated in making the residents comfortable during a disease that robs the body and mind of everything.
A special thank you to her good friend Debbie DuPey for being a true friend.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service for Avis will be held in the Spokane area later in the spring.