Dave Lofgren

David Lofgren passed away last year on July 11, 2020, at the age of 96.  At that time, a service to honor his life was postponed due to the COVID restrictions. 

On August 21, 2021, at 11 am, the long-awaited celebration of Dave’s life will be held at The First United Methodist Church of Clermont (masks are optional).  

The family invites everyone who played a part in David’s life (friends, former students, coworkers, fellow church members, Kiwanians, Beta Theta) to join the family to remember his contributions to his family, community and country. Directly after the service, the family, and friends will go to the Clermont Historic Village to reminisce and enjoy time together.

Dave was born in 1924 to David and Florence Lofgren (Anderson) in Brooklyn, New York. During his youth, Dave was active in Boy Scouts both in scouting activities and in a band formed by their troop. He enjoyed some of the friendships formed there into his 80’s. He was active in the youth group of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in 1942, and began attending Syracuse University but decided to serve his country in WWII.

He served in an intelligence unit in Europe during the Battle of the Bulge and then afterward until the end of the war earning a Bronze Star. He was very proud to have served his country and regularly attended the Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day ceremonies each year. A special thrill for him was being invited to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC in 2012 for World War II veterans. 

Eleanor and Dave Lofgren

After his discharge from the Army in 1945, he returned to Brooklyn and earned his degree in Physical Education at New York University by 1948. One evening, he attended a dance at his church where he met his one and only, Eleanor Tietjen (Ele) and their romance began. There were no teaching jobs available in New York City for someone with no experience so, in August 1948, he and Ele bought a very-used car, planned a wedding in a week and a half, married on a Thursday and drove to Mulberry, Florida in 3 days where he began his first teaching job the following Monday. 

Dave’s teaching responsibilities included 2 PE classes each morning at the high school and the setup and supervision of PE classes in 12 area schools in 5 communities. He taught swimming classes (driving the bus to and from the lake or pool and teaching the classes) each spring during the school year and during a summer recreation program which he planned and organized in order to earn extra money to support his growing family. He also earned extra pay by refereeing basketball and football games in central Florida and all the way down to Okeechobee. 

Despite his many responsibilities, he earned his Master’s in Administration from NYU over a few years and eventually became principal at Mulberry High School. In 1969, he became the principal at Clermont High School (now Clermont Middle) retiring in 1984, though he continued to work as a substitute in South Lake area schools for many years. He loved working with kids and the feeling seemed to be mutual as many former students have stopped to chat with him over the years at Publix, church, restaurants, or other local spots. His memory of the names of those students and their parents or siblings was amazing. 

He served in the United Methodist Church of Mulberry and of Clermont in many capacities. He also played softball with a senior men’s group, has been active in Kiwanis Club of Clermont and its service projects for many years, and has actively supported the work of the sisters of Beta Theta chapter of ESA and their husbands in service projects. 

Dave is survived by his wife Ele of almost 72 years; his children, Catherine (Carr), Neil Lofgren, Eva (Sedgwick), and John Lofgren; son-in-law Randy Sedgwick and daughter-in-law Laura Lofgren; grandchildren Joshua Carr, Matthew Sedgwick, Joel Carr, Kelly Lofgren, Nathan Sedgwick, David Lofgren III, and Sarah (Lofgren) Smith; and five amazing great-grandchildren. 

The Lofgren Family: John, Eva, Dave, Eleanor and Neil (not pictured: Catherine)

He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, a loving and fun Pop-Pop, and a great man who loved working with kids and serving people. He is dearly missed by many. 

The family extends a special thank you to the medical staff at South Lake Hospital who cared so compassionately for Dave in his final days. 

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