BECAUSE OF WEATHER - THE VISITATION FOR DON WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2020 FROM 5-7 PM AT ANDERSON TEBEEST FUNERAL HOME
Donald Lofthus, 93 of Montevideo passed away at his home on October 17, 2020.
A private funeral will be held and burial will be at Sunset Memorial Cemetery.
Public visitation with family will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 5 to 7 PM at Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home in Montevideo. Social distancing and masks will be required.
Donald Sorum Lofthus was born at the Montevideo Hospital in Chippewa County on June 30, 1927, to Theodore (Ted) and Magna (Sorum) Lofthus. He was baptized at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and confirmed there in 1942. Don attended school in the Montevideo school district and graduated from Montevideo Senior High in 1945, where he was active in many groups and clubs. He participated in band where he was both the student & pep band Director, acted in the class play, participated in the Yearbook, Prom Committee, and Rifle Club, and was also the Student Council President his senior year. His love for dancing began in these years, and he perfected his skills in the Swing Dance Club. It was in school where he met his lifelong dancing partner, his beloved Blanche, who he doted on and cherished from that point forward.
Following high school, Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was stationed in Portland, Oregon. He helped the returning GIs in their transition from the Navy and war experience back to civilian life. Less than one year later, the war ended. Don returned to Montevideo and worked at Hemstad’s Clothing Store on Main Street. Later in 1964 he bought this store and renamed it “Don’s Menswear.” In 1971, Don added women’s clothing and renamed the store, “Donald’s House of Fashion,” that later became Donald’s for Women. He was a fry cook at the A&W restaurant, a bartender at Rosie’s Supper Club, and also worked with Blanche at the outdoor theater. He worked for Alexandria Vocational Technical College, where he launched Customized Training and the Management Center, a program for small businesses. In the early 1990s, Don served as the Executive Director of the Montevideo Chamber of Commerce – multiple times – and was a founder of the Montevideo Chamber Admirals. As Historian and Honor Guard member, Don’s patriotic pride continued with the Montevideo American Legion Post 59. His patriotism was evident, with his respect and love of his country and those who served to protect it. He personally fundraised, visited the MN Capitol and called on MN legislators to build a Veterans home in Montevideo. The day before he passed, he was able to cast his vote for the 2020 Election, followed by a hot fudge sundae.
Don was a friendly, always present face in Montevideo, the city he loved. For many years, he was involved in the city’s annual celebration, Fiesta Days. He served many roles including being the Chairman of the entire celebration, Parade Chairman, an Ambassador, Queen chaperone, and multiple times was a Parade Grand Marshal. His excitement was contagious, and his devotion and dedication inspired many. In 2013, Don was unofficially but affectionately proclaimed Mr. Montevideo, Mr. Main Street and Mr. Legion Leader by friends and family. For the past 27 years, he hosted the Tuesday World War II veteran’s coffee group at the American Legion Post 59, and they never missed a Tuesday. He also treasured his friends in the Java River coffee group, looking forward to the weekly fellowship. In addition, he was a member of the Montevideo Lions and Our Saviors Lutheran Church senior group.
On June 20, 1948, Don married his sweetheart, Blanche Laumb, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. They made their home in Montevideo on North 4th Street. They were blessed with three children: Gregory, Lynn and Karen. Don was an adoring father, and his children have fond memories from childhood to adulthood, always speaking about his caring and supportive nature. Greg, Lynn and Karen remember him taking them to the outdoor theater when they were kids, in their pajamas, while Blanche sold tickets. Don would take the kids with him wherever he went. He played catch with the kids, went bike riding, took them along to his and Blanche’s bowling league nights and taught them how to downhill ski. Don and Blanche would bring Lynn and Karen and his granddaughters on trips to Market in Minneapolis to buy clothes for his store. He understood the industry and knew his clientele. In 1974, Don and Blanche purchased their cherished cabin in Spicer on Green Lake. Many happy summers with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were spent there, tubing, boating and playing Buck. Their memories of the cabin are precious to his whole family. At last year’s Christmas, the family celebrated the cabin by having a “hotdish potluck,” reminiscing and talking about the good times that were had during those 29 years. Don loved every one of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and each child knew it and could feel it. Grampa Don gave his attention, his love and support to them all, and each had a special bond with him that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Don is survived by his loving children, Greg Lofthus, Lynn Knoop and Karen (and Steve) Mortensen, his nine grandchildren, Jay (and Mandy) Knoop of Montevideo, Steffanie Lofthus of Eden Prairie, Stephen (and Lauren) Lofthus of Westfield, IN, Jennifer (and Lenny) Cubelo of Toms River, NJ, Shelley (and Josh) Boldenow of Chaska, Jeffrey (and Hayley) Knoop of Montevideo, Krista (and Matt) Howell of Montevideo, Stacy (and Vance) Lopez of San Diego, CA, and Ashley (and Matt) Sundlee of Montevideo, and his 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 Rose Sundlee. Three sisters-in-law, Sandy Skrove of Chaska, Jan Laumb of Payson, AZ and Beatrice (Bea) Lofthus of Montevideo, his nieces, nephews and cousins.
Don was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Blanche, in May. Also preceding him were his parents, his mother and father-in-law, Emil and Hilma (Falla) Laumb, a sister, Marcella (and Richard) Indergard, brothers Wallace (Wally) and Wendell (and Winnifred) Lofthus, nephews : Dick Indergard Jr. and his wife Sherry, Pasadena, CA, Brad Lofthus, Sacramento, CA; sister-in-law Vange (and Dave) Ronning of Mt. Home, AK, brother-in-law Marlowe Laumb of Payson, AZ, and two nephews, Michael Laumb of Payson, AZ and Scott Lofthus of Minneapolis, MN.
. Blessed be his memory. May he rest in peace and be forever in our hearts.
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