Charles E. Lofgren, age 84, died May 21, 2014 at his home in Miami following a brief illness. He was born on December 15, 1929 in Moose Lake, MN, the third child of Nannie (Johnson) and Elmer Lofgren. During the first years of his life his family lived on the farm homesteaded by his grandparents, Erik and Sofia Lofgren on Pickerel (Echo) Lake, the current site of Moose Lake State Park. He remembered how his energetic curiosity once annoyed a cow with a powerful kick - an adventure that landed him in bed for six weeks with a broken leg. This didn’t stop his passion for animal husbandry, however, which shaped his education and career. Following graduation from Moose Lake High School in 1947, and military service, he obtained both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture from the University of Minnesota. He started his career as an “Ag School” teacher in Morris, Minnesota. He was then hired by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Terre Haute, Indiana. While living there, he got his pilot’s license, bought a plane and would fly home to Minnesota for vacations.
During the span of his 32 year career with Pfizer, he lived in Beirut, Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, Miami and New York, ultimately becoming Vice President in Marketing, Animal Pharmaceutical Division, Latin America. In 1993, he started the Charles E. Lofgren Scholarship at his alma mater available to students enrolled in the UM’s College of Food and Agricultural Science & Natural Resources (CFANS) who are pursuing a career in one of those fields. He got to know these students with the devotion and interest of a favorite uncle, delighted to hear about their lives long after they graduated. Charlie never officially retired from his active work life. As recently as this year, he was consulting, lending his experience and investing in small businesses primarily in fields of agriculture, veterinary services and natural resources.
A philanthropist through and through, Charlie was also a strong supporter of the United Way in Miami, particularly following the devastation of Hurricane Andrew. But what most people will remember about Charlie was his colorful personality. He had a knack for being able to talk to anyone about anything, cultivating lifelong friends throughout the world. He was bright, energetic, fun and generous. Mention his name and listen as people chuckle and tell a “Charlie story.” The world will seem quieter, tidier and sadly more predictable without Charlie and his often present baseball cap. Charles was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Lloyd Lofgren, his sister, Helen Hanson and brother-in-law Bob Hanson, and his nephew John Lofgren. He is survived by his sister Audrey Brose, her husband Harlan, of East Hartland, CT, sister-in-law Delores Lofgren (Stewartville, MN), his aunt Doris Johnson (Bloomington, MN), his nieces, nephews, cousins. Other survivors are his scholarship fund “adoptees,” and numerous friends/colleagues.
Charlie had his plane tickets purchased for his summer trip to Minnesota. He was excited about the 100th Reunion of Moose Lake High School and, of course, the 4th of July Parade. So it is fitting that a memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 6th, at 3:00 PM at Hope Lutheran Church in Moose Lake, MN. Christian burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Barnum, MN. Charlie never talked much about dying, but in the event that this world traveler did, he wanted to be buried by his parents back home in Moose Lake. A reception will be held following interment at the Moose Lake Historical Society, from 5:00-8:00 PM. This will be a time for family and friends to share memories and stories about Charlie. A celebration of his life is also being planned in Miami by his friends, details pending.
A special thank you to John and Carol Honeycutt, of Cooper City, Florida, who have been the picture of loyalty and devotion to Charlie during his last weeks and since his death. We are so grateful for their help. We also deeply appreciate the friendship of Marta Fuertes and Alexis Martin, also of Miami, who had a beautiful tribute website up and running within hours of hearing of Charlie’s passing: http://www.forevermissed.com/charleslofgren.
Memorials are preferred to: The Charles E. Lofgren Scholarship (University of Minnesota Foundation, CM-3854, PO Box 70870, St. Paul, MN 55170) or United Way of Miami-Dade (3250 S.W. 3rd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33129, Attention: Carlos Molina). Arrangements are with Hamlin-Hansen-Kosloski Funeral Home, Moose Lake, MN. www.hhkfuneralhome.com.