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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

More than meets the eye

Get to know Lois Cordes, the familiar face sitting behind Bethel University’s Print Services desk.
Devanie Andre
Lois Cordes works in Bethel University Print Services in the BAC. She loves getting to interact with students and faculty and helping them with any of their printing needs.

It’s 7:00 in the morning. Most people are probably still in bed, but not Lois Cordes. As she arrives at the Print Services desk, she flips on the lights, turns on her computer and goes through the printing queue, cranking out all the work as early as possible. When she’s done, she’ll watch “epic fail” compilation videos on YouTube, chit-chat with students and faculty in the halls and get miscellaneous printing jobs done throughout the day. 

But there’s more to Cordes than meets the eye. For students who take the time to know her past being the “print services lady,” Cordes has a wealth of stories on the path that got her to where she is today.

Jan. 8, 2014, Cordes arrived at her home in Centerville, Minnesota after a long day of work. Her head throbbed. Her stomach churned with nausea. She took Advil, but nothing eased the pain. Soon, her nausea manifested itself into vomiting — and Cordes couldn’t stop. 

As she laid in her own vomit, her husband stood over her, asking what he should do. Cordes knew something was wrong, so she told him to dial 911. Paramedics arrived, and they tried to get her to stand up – she couldn’t, so they carried her out to the ambulance in a sheet. 

Cordes arrived at Regions Hospital in St. Paul and found out what was causing her extreme headache and hours of vomiting — a brain aneurysm. According to Cleveland Clinic, the second-best hospital in the world, a brain aneurysm is a bulge in a weak area of blood vessels in the brain. 

To treat the aneurysm, Cordes had a surgery where a coil was put into her brain. She was put into a medically induced coma and then moved to M Health Fairview Bethesda hospital — an acute, long-term hospital where, according to Cordes, she shouldn’t have come out alive.  

Eventually, Cordes moved back to Regions. In March 2014, she woke up from her coma. Because of the two brain surgeries, Cordes suffered from four strokes — but they haven’t stopped her.

She gives God the glory for this victory, as well as other victories in her life such as raising a baby on her own, buying her own townhouse and eventually being able to build her dream house by herself.

Not only does Lois Cordes love working at Bethel, but she loves life. “I like to have fun. I love people. I love this job.” (Devanie Andre)

Cordes grew up in a house right across the street from a Missouri Synod Lutheran church, and she made it a priority to attend every Sunday morning service. Even so, she has found more confidence in her faith since her brain aneurysm in 2014. She holds onto her one hope: that all her loved ones end up in the same place she’s heading — heaven.

In October 2014, Cordes was ready to get back to working in sales — previously, she was salesperson of the year for A’viands, a food and services management company. She quickly learned she was fired. The reason: failure to return to work, despite being in a coma for two and a half months. 

Former Campus Pastor Caitlyn Stenerson calls herself a “big Lois fan.” Stenerson got to know Cordes through her printing needs and learned that she went to high school with Cordes’ daughter — a friendship sparked. 

Every time Stenerson paid a visit to the Print Services desk, Cordes always took the time to ask Stenerson how she was doing and remembered small details — like Stenerson’s dog, Maggie, and her niece, Edie. In September 2023, Stenerson baptized her niece in the Scandia Chapel, and Cordes printed out the baptism certificate.

Stenerson recognizes that Cordes brings a sense of consistency to Bethel’s campus. Whenever something needs to get done, Cordes will do it and exceed expectations. Not only does this occur in her work life, but also in her personal life. Whenever Stenerson interacted with Cordes, she knew it would make her day.

“I think it is such a loss for people to not know Lois,” Stenerson said. “Make it a point to go talk to Lois.” 

Though Stenerson no longer works at Bethel, she still makes it a priority to stop by Print Services whenever she visits campus. 

When Cordes is at home, she can be found sewing, hanging out with her dogs and watching “CSI: Miami” or “The Big Bang Theory” until two in the morning — she doesn’t sleep much, maybe getting three hours a night. Her father was the same way, and she calls it the “Cordes Curse.” 

This summer, after the academic school year is over and she helps train a new employee, Cordes plans on visiting North Carolina to meet her first grandson, who was born two months ago.

In the meantime, she can be found on the third floor of the Barnes Academic Center. To her, “What you see is what you get,” but she loves what she does and where she’s at.

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About the Contributors
Samantha Wurm, Lifestyle Editor
Samantha Wurm, 20, is a sophomore journalism major, with a communication studies minor. She loves to laugh, explore new cities, review books on Goodreads and have dance parties with her friends. If you want someone to check out a new coffee shop or art museum with in Minneapolis, give her a shout!  [email protected] | 320.333.0795
Devanie Andre
Devanie Andre, Staff Designer
Devanie Andre, 20, is a junior graphic design major. She enjoys being a member of Bethel’s volleyball team, playing intense card games like Dutch Blitz and contemplating what tattoo to get next.

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