Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Lois P. Revlock, executive secretary who became a watercolor artist, dies at 97

Mr. Revlock was a whiz at typing, but she grew weary of office gossip. In her forties, she became a watercolor artist. Her works have been shown on the East and West Coasts, and in Canada.

Lois Revlock as a young woman.
Lois Revlock as a young woman.Read moreCourtesy of the Revlock Family (Custom credit)

Lois Proctor Revlock, 97, an executive secretary who had a second career as a watercolor artist, died Thursday, Nov. 12, of gall bladder cancer at her home in Ambler.

Mrs. Revlock was born in Proctor, Mont., a town founded by her pioneer grandfather, for whom she was named. Her parents were Ellery Clarence and Adelaide Durfee Proctor.

She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse where her mother taught. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., and later did advanced business study at the University of Chicago. Her mother wanted her to be a nurse like her sister, but she fainted at the sight of blood.

What she excelled at was typing. “She could do 124 words a minute,” said her son, Joseph Revlock Jr. “She was a really fast typist.”

In her 20s and 30s, she worked as an executive secretary for Boeing of Seattle, then Keystone Automobile club (now AAA), and finally, Gwynedd Mercy University’s school of nursing. In her forties, tired of office gossip and innuendo, she became a watercolor artist best known for her landscapes.

“She had a new idea about how she should spend her time, and my dad was supportive of that,” her son said. “He loved to frame her work and got very good at it.”

She studied with Philadelphia area watercolor artists Howard Watson, Barbara Osterman, William A. Smith, and Dominic DeStefano.

About 20% of her paintings were commissioned. Others she sold or displayed at home. At times, she provided paintings for charity fund-raisers.

Beginning in 1971, Mrs. Revlock’s paintings were shown in galleries on the East and West Coasts and in Canada. They are in collections at the Wilmington Delaware Medical Center; Sierra Madre Library in California; IBM Executive offices in Philadelphia; Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia; the State Capitol in Harrisburg; and the Monastery of St. Clare in Spokane.

When Mr. Revlock traveled, she was storing mental images as grist for her works. As she painted, “she was trying to capture the feelings of a certain time, a certain memory, that she would unlock and preserve, something a photograph couldn’t do,” her son said.

Mrs. Revlock was the corresponding secretary of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society and served on group’s board of directors for 10 years. She was also its membership chairman and newsletter editor.

Other art club memberships included: Woodmere Art Museum, Chestnut Hill; Doylestown Art League; Oreland Art Center; Perkiomen Valley Art Center; Philadelphia Sketch Club; and the Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre, Calif.

She was secretary for the Horsham Township Planning Commission, and a judge of elections at the polls in Horsham Township for more than 30 years.

Mrs. Revlock’s artistry extended to her home garden, which was lush with 130 azaleas of various colors and other flowering plants. Many paintings were reflections of her garden but she drew inspiration from the scenery in England, Vancouver Island, and the coast of Maine, her family said.

She married Joseph Revlock Sr. in 1949. He died in 2010. Besides her son, Joseph Jr., she is survived by a son Theo; a daughter Michele Dean; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers. Two sisters and a brother died earlier.

A life celebration will be held once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.