Lola Lavera Sprague Pike, the mother of three children whom she loved deeply and completely, and like a mother to others, left us on June 23, 2020 to go to her heavenly home to be with her precious husband Julian, and other friends and family who have gone before.
Born September 6, 1931, Lola survived much in her 88-plus years, but didn't do well with the isolation mandated in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, wife, sister-in-law, teacher, mother, missionary, mother-in-law, grandmother, and friend to many, Lola was happiest when surrounded by family members at a dining table, looking for a bargain in any store, or attending Sunday services at Boulder's First Presbyterian Church. Official cause of death was inanition (protein malnutrition due to the body's inability to use food). She was surrounded by family members, Lola, as usual, uncomplaining and at peace.
A survivor of catastrophic domestic violence in her childhood home, Lola found solace and liberation in the teachings of Jesus Christ as a child, her beliefs shared and supported by her best friend Dee Anderson Wanvig and other Anderson family members. A consummate Christian whose faith shone bright, Lola loved all the little children of the world, their dogs, and most parents. If she bought one book, teddy bear, or item of child’s clothing to give away, she bought hundreds. (Some of Lola's fans imagine her as being gone along to help out in Heaven's nursery and on the children's playground.)
The youngest of three surviving children, Lola spent her first eight years in Minot, ND. The Sprague family moved to Oregon in 1939. When her eldest niece was born, 13 years younger, Lola became the head of the welcoming committee. Lola loved and adored all her nieces and nephews. As one great-niece said, "Lola's generous spirit will continue to live on in each of us who were blessed to know her."
Always a reader, Lola was the only person in her family to finish high school. She graduated from Portland's Cascade College in 1951, going on to remain Round Robin pen pals with her Cascade classmates for the rest of the 20th century and well into the 21st. A dimple-cheeked beauty all of her life, Lola won the heart of the son of the president of Cascade College, Julian McKendree Pike. They married right after her graduation. Lola earned a Master of Education degree while helping to support Julian through graduate school and his Ph.D. program. She taught school in Oregon and Kentucky, the south where she and Julian adopted Ken, Julie, and Keith when the three were infants.
The five Pikes lived in Boulder, CO while Julian worked as a physicist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Lola and Julian traveled to Kenya as missionaries. In another adventure, Lola, while in her fifties, summited Boulder's Third Flatiron, roped between Ken and Keith. When a friend injured herself and couldn't continue on a European trip, Lola made her way alone to see Italy, the Louvre, the Anne Frank House, and a good part of Switzerland. Lola and Julian spent many summers as fire lookouts in Oregon's national forests. During much of Julian's retirement, the two lived in Waxhaw, NC, where they volunteered at JAARs (Jungle Aviation and Radio Services) to assist with around-the-world Bible translation efforts. The couple remained inseparable for nearly 66 years, until Julian's passing in early 2017, and regardless of Lola's bouts with bipolar disorder and Julian with Alzheimer's disease. Lola always called Portland home, returning often to lavish love and attention on her sisters, mother, cousins, and many nieces and nephews.
Eventually becoming the family matriarch, Lola was predeceased by her father Clair Sprague, mother Evelyn Chase Sprague Baity, sisters Dolores Sprague Spor and Chrystal Sprague Carver, and brother Clair, Jr. Survivors include children Ken Pike, Keith Pike (Maureen Brennan), and Julie Pike Powell (Rodney), and grandchildren Thomas Powell (Emily), Kayla Powell, Alexis Powell, and Sophie Pike. Also brother-in-law Vic Pike (Zola), and nieces and nephews Sharon Wood Wortman, Billie Smoak Harris, Phillip Carver, Di Carver, Candie Sparks, Charles Carver, Patty Brice, as well as many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Heritage Funeral & Cremation Services of Lafayette is handling cremation arrangements.
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