Lola J. Van Woert

Lola J. (Maguire) Van Woert, 99, of North Port, Florida, passed away, at home, on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023. A spitfire of determination and compassion, Lola lived a full and purposeful life.

Born on April 26, 1924, in Lake Placid, New York, she was the daughter of Eugene and Mildred (Arquitt) Maguire and older sister of Bette and Nancy.

She completed a four-year academic program in three years, graduating in 1945 from Potsdam State with a bachelor’s degree in education. She became the first ever kindergarten teacher in Oxford, New York, where she met recently returned Army Veteran Paul Van Woert. They married in 1946 and moved to Sidney, New York, where they lived until 1979 when Lola retired after 29 years of teaching fourth and second grades in the Sidney Central Schools. They moved to Holiday Park in North Port, Florida, where Lola lived for 44 years, the remainder of her life.

She was predeceased by her husband, Paul, in 2002; sister Nancy (Maguire) Lynch in 2022; and parents.

She is survived by her daughters, Shari Weeks (Prior Lake, Minnesota) and Juli Van Woert (Buffalo, New York); grandchildren Jessica Schroepfer, Nathan and Alexis Muka; and great-grandson Jayce Schroepfer. She is also survived by family in Lake Placid, sister Bette (Maguire) May; and niece and nephew Laurie Jo and Kevin May, owners of Emma’s Creamery.

Lola was the family “glue” and an extraordinary and loving correspondent, maintaining relationships with generations of cousins, nieces and a multitude of close/ long-term friends and caregivers who she considered family. Lola was an active member of her Holiday Park and church communities, where she was loved and will be missed. She was a generous supporter of numerous organizations dedicated to the care of animals, children and Veterans. She was one of a kind.

At her request, there will be no service at this time, but a celebration of her life for her 100th birthday is being planned for April 2024. Memorial donations may be sent to her beloved North Port Community United Church of Christ, 3450 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port, FL 34287.

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