Blanche Lofthus of Montevideo died on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at her home in Montevideo at the age of 92.
A private graveside service was held on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Blanche Merceiles Laumb was born in her home on the family farm in Torning Township, Swift County on September 5, 1927 to Emil and Hilma (Falla) Laumb. She was baptized at Jevnaker Lutheran Church. Her family relocated to Montevideo during Blanche’s childhood. In 1942 she was confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Blanche attended school in the Montevideo school district where she was a cheerleader. She graduated from high school in 1945. It was there that she met her lifelong sweetheart, Donald Lofthus. Blanche’s life after high school included fun times with Don and her friends, and time at work. She had various jobs, including working at Tomhaves Drug Store, the Sugar Bowl Café and three separate movie theaters, the Hollywood, the Starlight and the Video theaters.
On June 20, 1948 Blanche married the love of her life, Donald Lofthus at Our Saviors Lutheran Church. Blanche and Donnie made their home in Montevideo on North 4th Street. They were blessed with three children: Gregory, Lynn and Karen. Blanche spent much of her children’s younger years raising them at home. In 1964, Don and Blanche purchased a men’s clothing store on Main Street in Montevideo, which they named “Don’s Men’s Wear”. Over time this store would become Donald’s House of Fashion and finally Donald’s for Women. Blanche and her two daughters worked with Don at the store for many years until it closed in 1992. She also worked in Montevideo for years at Thompson Drug. Blanche, Don and family enjoyed summers at their cabin on Green Lake in Spicer. The 29 years of memories made there with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were very special to her.
Blanche loved to sew, knit and crochet. She used her talents to sew clothes for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including a family favorite: “feety pajamas”. She knitted and crocheted hats for infants born at the Montevideo Hospital and knitted afghans for all her grandchildren and gave them as wedding gifts. Blanche was known for the exceptional treats she made, especially her homemade apple pie, lefse for holidays and her Special K bars. Her grandchildren found them so delicious that she would always say, “You can only have one!”. Blanche was active in her church and community and participated in Dorcas Circle, the Montevideo Legion Auxiliary, ladies sewing club, and a ladies bowling league (where she once scored a 500 series). She was a dedicated blood donor with the American Red Cross and a frequent volunteer election judge. Blanche loved to try her luck at playing cards, bingo and penny slots. Most importantly, Blanche loved being involved in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s lives. She attended their school and sporting events and was proud of each child.
Blanche is survived by her devoted, beloved husband with whom she shared 75 years together, Don; her children: Greg Lofthus, Lynn Knoop and Karen (Steve) Mortensen; nine grandchildren: Jay (Mandy) Knoop, Montevideo, Steffanie Lofthus, Eden Prairie, Stephen (Lauren) Lofthus, Westfield, IN, Jennifer (Lenny) Cubelo, Tom’s River, NJ, Shelley (Josh) Boldenow, Chaska, Jeffrey (Hayley) Knoop, Montevideo, Krista (Matt) Howell, Montevideo, Stacy (Vance) Lopez, San Diego, CA, Ashley (Matt) Sundlee, Montevideo; 15 great-grandchildren, Samuel and Bode Knoop, Madison and Baylee Brabender, London, Ella, and Ava Lofthus, Victoria and Gabriella Cubelo, Ariel and Macie Boldenow, Damon and Payton Howell, Leyla and Lillie Sundlee; one sister: Sandy Skrove, Chaska; two sisters-in-law, Jan Laumb, Payson, AZ, Beatrice (Bea) Lofthus, Montevideo; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Blanche was preceded in death by her parents; her mother and father-in-law, Theodore (Ted) and Magna (Sorum) Lofthus; sister Vange (Dave) Ronning; brother Marlowe Laumb; sisters and brothers-in-law: Marcella (Richard) Indergard, Wendell (Winnifred) Lofthus, Wallace “Wally” Lofthus and nephews, Michael Laumb and Scott Lofthus.
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