Alexandria - Loren Voldness, 79, of Alexandria, died Tuesday, May 7 at his home. He had suffered a massive stroke one week prior.
Memorial services were held Saturday, May 11 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.
Loren Franklin Voldness was born on March 19, 1934 on the Voldness farm in Norden Township, Pennington County, to Norman and Clara (Ostmoe) Voldness. When he was 3 years old, he moved with his family to Rosewood. He attended grade school at the country school Rosebank and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1952.
Following his schooling, Loren worked as a mechanic in Thief River Falls for two years. He worked at a packing plant in St. Paul for a time and spent a winter in Rapid City, SD working with his uncle. Loren joined his brother at Beaver Bay on Lake Superior and they worked on the taconite plant for Reserve Mining Co. and also helped build the town of Silver Bay.
In the spring of 1956, Loren returned to Thief River Falls and began working for Soo Line Railroad as a fireman on the old steam locomotives. Later, he was promoted to engineer. He worked in Thief River Falls, Rhinelander, Wis., Superior, Wis., Minneapolis, Fond du lac, Wis., Chicago, Ill., and Glenwood.
In 1957 and 1958, Loren served his country as a radio operator in the U.S. Army. He was made an instructor, which he found very boring, so he volunteered for overseas duty. He wanted to go to Germany, but the Army sent him to Korea. He served one and one half years in Korea. Following his discharge, he returned to the Soo Line Railroad.
While working in Rhinelander, Loren met the daughter of one of his coworkers. On Sept. 17, 1960, Loren was united in marriage to Loretta “Kootz” Alsteen. The couple made their home in Thief River Falls, where they began raising their family. They were blessed with three children, Lorrie, Robin and Jeff.
In 1987, Soo Line Railroad transferred Loren to Glenwood. The couple made their home in Alexandria on Lake Geneva. In 1994, Loren retired from the railroad, now owned by Canadian Pacific, as a locomotive engineer.
Loren loved golfing. Loren and Kootz would spend three months of each winter at Gulf Shores, Ala. He served as a marshal on the golf course in Pensacola, Fla. Recently, Loren was working at Arrowwood, maintaining golf carts and golfing as often as he could.
Volunteering was also important to Loren. He was a member of the Alexandria Evening Lions Club and could always be counted on to volunteer time for Lion projects. He has served The Salvation Army as a bell ringer and has been in charge of organizing the Army’s bell ringers. He has volunteered to help Someplace Safe.
One of Loren’s favorite charities was Habitat for Humanity. He helped build several Habitat homes. He has built the Habitat trailer that is used at each Habitat project. Loren’s skills have helped to organize projects, keep things running smoothly and increase the productivity of all Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
Loren enjoyed people and having fun. He always had a good story or joke to tell. He was a people person and there are many people who will miss his smile and his hugs.
Loren is survived by his wife, Kootz Voldness of Alexandria; children, Robin Voldness of Malone, Wis., Lorrie (Lloyd) Luecke of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and Jeff Voldness of Fond du lac, Wis.; grandchildren, Christopher Luecke, Nikita and Katrina Pickert and Lauren Van Hierden; sisters, Dolores Hirst of Thief River Falls and Joyce (Harold) Bonawitz of Fargo, N.D.; and brother, Norman C. Voldness of Minneapolis.
Loren was preceded in death by his parents; his siter-in-law Marlys Voldness; brother-in-law Robert Hirst; and nephew Robert Hirst Jr.