Eleanor Lofgren’s Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 29 from 1 pm – 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 950 7th St., Clermont. (A reception will be held after the service. Location TBD)

Eleanor Elise Tietjen Lofgren was born on June 26, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, the second of four sisters.  Her parents were Cilly and Hermann Tietjen, immigrants from Germany who owned a German delicatessen.  She was smart, independent, and a bit of a tomboy.  She graduated from Erasmus Hall High School and began working as a telephone operator.

In 1945, when the “boys” returned from war and her church hosted a dance to welcome them, her older sister Lucille went to the dance with a friend and local soldier, David Lofgren.  However, he ended up meeting and falling for Ele at the dance (causing a bit of a family stir) and the rest is history!  They dated for a few years while Dave finished his teaching degree.  They became engaged and when Dave found a job in Florida, her family pulled a wedding together in a few days after receiving a telegraph from Dave.  They married on August 19 and left the next day for their honeymoon/new life.  Their first night in Mulberry was spent in the men’s boarding house.  Their first home was a converted army barracks two miles from town on a dirt road.  It was quite a culture shock.

From that not so glamorous beginning, they made a wonderful life.  Four children and 21 years later, Ele found her niche as a church secretary (first at Mulberry Methodist, then at Bartow Presbyterian, and finally, South Lake Presbyterian in Clermont).  She sang in the choir, occasionally played piano and volunteered in other capacities in church.  She took full charge of the finances, cared for and disciplined the kids, did all the cooking and cleaning while Dad worked 2 or 3 different jobs to make ends meet.  It was a cooperative effort all the way and there were lots of memorable camping trips, times at the beach with the family friends and trips back to see the New York relatives and two World Fairs (camping one time to Montreal and back).

In 1969, Dave and Ele moved to Clermont as Dave was hired as Clermont High School’s principal.  They left so many friends and started all over though she maintained contact with the old crowd.  Mom developed many new friendships (definitely one of her gifts).  Of course, she supported her kids (or straightened them out at times as needed) in their school endeavors.  And she eventually connected with a group of women who formed a service sorority.  She was one of the founders and charter members of Beta Theta ESA, a community service organization.  She was an active member for 43 years and, often, a club officer.

She obtained her college degree, graduating cum laude from Lake-Sumter Community College.  She became well-known throughout the community for her service.  She volunteered for many years in the concession stand at high school football games, as a South Lake Hospital volunteer, in various positions at the United Methodist Church, delivered Meals on Wheels weekly for years, and worked on many Beta Theta Sorority fundraisers to benefit individuals and groups in need.  She even helped out during many Kiwanis activities with Dave, most notably working countless hours organizing high school seniors’ applications and then helping to write and track checks for them as part of the Kiwanis Scholarship program.  If she knew an individual needed something, she would do her best to see that the need was filled through cards, meals, or a visit.  And, being the matriarch of the Lofgren clan, she made sure that nobody in her family ever wanted for anything.

Her greatest source of pride and joy was her family.  She loved talking about them and to them.  Any visit with them was a highlight ESPECIALLY if it was one of her great-grandchildren.  She leaves behind sisters, Celie Lundquist and Helen Pitt, four children: Catherine (Carr), Neil Lofgren, Eva (Sedgwick), and John Lofgren; seven grandchildren: Joshua Carr, Matthew Sedgwick, Joel Carr, Kelly Lofgren, Nathan Sedgwick, David Lofgren, and Sarah (Lofgren) Smith; and six great-grandchildren, Jay, Gage, Jonathan, Gavin, Kinsley, and Zane.  She excelled in loving and caring for all of them.

In 2020, she lost her Dave after almost 72 years of marriage.  They were such a wonderful pair and it was hard for her to adjust to life without him.  On January 6, 2022, she joined Dave in heaven and they are together again at last.

Our family would like to extend a special thank you to the medical staff at South Lake Hospital and for Cornerstone Hospice who cared so compassionately for Eleanor in her final days.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of her favorite organizations, the Faith Neighborhood Center which serves those in need in South Lake County. http://faithneighborhoodcenter.com/donatefunds.html.

For additional information, visit Becker Funeral Home website.
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