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Lois Kingsley was ‘walking encyclopedia’ of Fairfield history

Lois Kingsley made a big difference in the beautification of Fairfield.

She was one of the architects of the gardens at the Elisha Morgan Mansion, a member of the Fairfield Historical Society, active with the Four Seasons Garden Club, a contributor to the Friends of Elisha Morgan, and the driving force behind a beautification project at the Fairfield Post Office.

Kingsley died Sunday. She was 80.

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“She was a wealth of information,” said Fairfield historian Scott Fowler. “She was a walking encyclopedia of local history.”

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But Fowler said it’s hard to describe Kingsley’s legacy.

“Typically your people that leave legacies are people who have been out in the limelight. She stayed pretty much in the background leading things,” he said.

In this 2006 file photo, Lois Kingsley hangs decortations on the front porch of the Elisha Morgan Mansion in Fairfield. (GREG LYNCH/2006)

Kingsley chaired the annual Sunbonnet Heritage Days event until about two years ago, researched the families who lived in the home that’s known as the Elisha Morgan Mansion, and was a business owner.

Kingsley was also instrumental in the Fairfield Historical Society’s beautification project at the Fairfield Post Office on Wessel Road, an idea of City Councilwoman Debbie Pennington.

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“I was looking for a master gardener and I went to her,” Pennington said. “And she put it all together. She put the wheels in motion. Without Lois, that project would have never come to fruition.”

Kingsley was also the treasurer of the Fairfield Historical Society, and did a lot of archival work with the society’s archivist, Bob Pendergrass.

“She was one of those women who was working hard, was behind the scenes and loved what she did,” Pendergrass said. “She was just amazing, a very special lady.”

In this 2008 file photo, Libby Head and Lois Kingsley, of the Four Seasons Garden Club, plant tomato plants in the garden at the Elisha Morgan Farm Mansion. The club planted a heritage garden with plants common to the time period of the house. (GREG LYNCH/2008)

Milli Suermann said Kingsley was one of the key planners brought in to design the historical gardens at the Elisha Morgan Mansion, which includes a kitchen garden, rose garden and grapes that grew at the time when the Hueston family owned the home. She said the rose garden was “her real love.”

“She was a multi-talented woman,” said Suermann.

Kingsley, who was born in Stanaford, W.V., was the owner-operator of Alene’s Artistry Floral Shop in Fairfield.

Kingsley was proceeded in death by her husband, Edward Kingsley, who died at 79 on March 3. She is survived by her four children: Kim Pritchett, Karry (Ghi) Kingsley, Karla (Nate) Kingsley-Weaver and Kylee Kingsley; nine grandchildren; one great grandchild; and one sister, Shirley Lippincott. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and close friends.

The visitation for Kingsley is set for 10 a.m. July 19 at The Webster Funeral Home, 3080 Homeward Way in Fairfield. A memorial service begins at 11 a.m. at the funeral home, with Pastor Barry Wilson officiating.

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