Lola J. Lohse, 87, of Dassel, passed away on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the St. Cloud Hospital.
Lola Jean Wischmann came into this world on Good Friday, April 14, 1933, to parents Lester Arthur Wischmann and Hazel Mae (Cropp) Wischmann, who lived on a farm in Harvey Township, northwest of Litchfield, with their first-born daughter, Fay Alice (Wischmann) Osberg. The family moved to another farm in Swede Grove, north of Grove City, in 1937.
Lola remembered her father as a good farmer and great dad, and her mother as a terrific helper who taught her to be kind, honest, and truthful. Lola fondly recalled her childhood as “pretty wonderful,” spending nearly every Sunday with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins eating her mother’s famous fried chicken and apple pie.
Her Grandpa Wischmann loved to play cards and taught all of his grandchildren, cursing in German whenever they beat him. Card playing was a favorite hobby that Lola maintained throughout her life, as archived by the weekly Whist and 500 scores reported in the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch and Litchfield Independent Review newspapers.
Lola graduated from Grove City High School in 1951, having already secured employment as a secretary with the Litchfield Produce Company. Her dreams were to work as a secretary, get married, and be a mom.
Cupid’s arrow struck when Lola was a teenager accompanying her friends to the Eden Lake Roller Park by Eden Valley where she met the love of her life, Edward Roy Lohse.
Shortly after meeting, Eddie shipped off to Korea as a G.I. in the US Army. After 22 months of service, he returned and began courting Lola. It was immediately clear they were the perfect match.
On December 12, 1953, the two were married in the old church in Eden Valley followed by a dance at the Darwin Horseshoe Ballroom, and a romantic honeymoon getaway to the Maple Plain Motel.
The early years of Ed and Lola’s union were spent in Litchfield, where Lola continued to work as a secretary, and Eddie started trucking for Anderson Chemical.
In 1957, they welcomed their first child, Steven Edward Lohse. Two years later, the family packed up and moved east all the way to Cokato where Eddie bought out the Cokato Shipping Association and added three trucks to the Lohse Trucking fleet.
Daughter Pennie Lee (Lohse) Anderson was born in 1961, and two years after that, the family moved into the “brown house” on Highway 12 where the Lohses lived for many years.
Lola kept the books for the family business, but also joined in the trucking, frequently hauling livestock to South St. Paul with little Steve or Pennie along for the ride.
After 16 years, she switched gears, and began working as a loan officer, eventually becoming the Vice President of the State Bank of Cokato. In her 20 years as a banker, Lola helped countless members of the Dassel-Cokato community achieve their housing and business dreams.
In 1984, Lola began her role as World’s Best Grandma, a title she maintained until her passing. Her fierce and steadfast love for her grandchildren took precedence over almost everything.
Tragedy struck on Memorial Day of 1998, when Ed and Lola were returning with granddaughter Ashlie, aged 11, to her home on Lake Washington. Stopped on the highway, signaling a left-hand turn, their vehicle was rear-ended and forced into oncoming traffic. This horrific crash claimed the life of young Ashlie, and nearly took Lola’s as well. Miraculously, Lola survived, only to endure more sorrow in 2002, when her oldest grandson, Kyle, aged 9, had an accidental fall resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury.
The hardships faced by the Lohse family cemented their strong, close-knit bonds. Lola always chose positivity, humility, and grit. With a heart made of gold, she never turned down a request for help. She sought out joyful opportunities and pursuits, including travel, old-time dancing, and of course, playing cards. A proud member of her community, a faithful follower of Christ, an exceptional mother, and a devoted and loving wife of 67 years, Lola Lohse will be sorely missed.
Blessed be her memory.
Lola is survived by her husband, Eddie Lohse; her sister, Fay Osberg; her son Steve and daughter-in-law Beth Lohse; their three children Kyle, Angela, and Luke Lohse; her daughter Pennie and son-in-law Curt Anderson; their daughter Chelsea and her husband Brendan Flaherty; and her two great grandchildren, Eliza and Lola Flaherty.
Lola is preceded in death by her grandparents, Gustav and Dora Wischmann, and John and Mary Cropp; her parents, Lester and Hazel Wischmann; and her granddaughter, Ashlie Anderson.
A memorial service took place Saturday, March 13, at Dassel Covenant Church, with interment in the Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield.
Pastor Darren Olson officiated at the service. Organist: was Harvey Peterson, with soloist Jon Benson. Eulogists were Elizabeth Lohse, Luke Lohse, and Chelsea Flaherty.
Congregational hymns included: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” “In The Garden,” and “Because He Lives.”
Honorary urn bearers were Lola’s grandchildren: Chelsea Flaherty, Kyle Lohse, Angela Lohse, and Luke Lohse.
Arrangements were provided by the Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituary and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.