Lois Bobette Brown Best, who moved to Hyde Park in 1967 and was heavily involved with neighborhood organizations, died recently. She was 72.
Best was born to William and Iris Brown on June 21, 1947, in Pittsburgh, where she attended public schools and the Allegheny Community College. She married William McKinkey Best Jr. on July 19, 1965, and they moved to Chicago two years later, settling in Hyde Park for its diversity and schools. They had a daughter, Dina Marie, in 1974.
Over the years, Best worked for many companies, from Illinois Bell and Sears Roebuck to Accenture, the University of Chicago and her own nanny service, Loving Tender Care by Lois. At age 67, she began taking classes at Northwestern University — “a testament,” her daughter said, “to her desire to read and learn all she could.”
Best was a member of the South Shore United Methodist Church, 7350 S. Jeffrey Ave., and worked for many organizations, including the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, Blue Gargoyle, ACT-SO, Rainbow/PUSH, the Hyde Park Garden Walk and the Kozminski Academy parent-teacher association. She was passionate about improving Greencastle of Kenwood, 4909 S. Cottage Grove Ave., advocating for cooking classes, exercise equipment and a technology club for the senior community there.
“Lois loved to talk to people. She could barely make it to her destination without seeing someone that she knew and loved,” her daughter said. “To know her was to love her. One of her friends described her as leaving footprints on our heart: she was kind and had a heart of gold.”
In addition to her daughter and mother, Best is survived by four grandsons (William, Wesley, Warren and Winston), three sisters (Julie, Peggy and Margie), one brother (William) and many nieces and nephews. Her father preceded her in death.
Her memorial is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., with a reception following.