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LOWELL KENNETH THONE passed peacefully from this world into the presence of Jesus on November 9, 2021 at Pacifica Cottage in Mission Viejo, CA at the age of 88. He spent the last few months of his life in this small residential care home, receiving loving assistance from family members, caregivers, and health care providers.
Lowell was born on January 22, 1933 in Hull, Iowa during a powerful blizzard. Family and neighbors came together to shovel snow so his parents could get to the hospital for the delivery. In 1937 he moved with his parents from rural Iowa to the family farm near Beaver Creek, MN. As a boy, Lowell loved helping his father with farm work and began driving the tractor in the field at the age of eight. He attended the one-room Pleasant View Country School from first through eighth grade.
At Luverne High school as a freshman, Lowell was class president and played on the football team. But life changed dramatically the following summer when he contracted polio. He was a patient at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD for two months. The first days of Lowell’s stay were spent on a bed in the hallway because of the shortage of rooms during the polio epidemic. As an only child, his parents were profoundly grateful for God’s mercy in allowing him to survive when many others did not. When Lowell finally returned to school the second half of his sophomore year, he was thankful for friends who carried him up and down the stairs. Lowell’s gritty determination and inner strength were evident in his hard work to regain the ability to walk and then graduate in 1951. Lowell earned a degree from the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture in 1953.
Lowell met the love of his life, Claudette Selness, on a blind date to the Minnesota State Fair in 1953. They were married on March 5, 1955 in St. Louis Park, MN on a frigid winter evening. God blessed Lowell and Claudette with 66 beautiful years of marriage and three daughters, Lynette, Marcia, and Sherri.
After full-time farming until the age of 30, Lowell attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, MN, receiving a degree in design engineering. He held mechanical engineering jobs in Great Falls, MT, Golden Valley, MN, Mountain Lake, MN, and then worked 20 years as a building/heating inspector for the City of Eden Prairie, MN. When Lowell retired in 1995, he and Claudette moved back to the beloved family farm. He took great pride in caring for the farmyard and also worked part-time as a building inspector for the cities of Luverne and Pipestone. In 2008 Lowell and Claudette relocated to Mission Viejo, CA to be near family and benefit from living in a warmer climate.
Lowell enjoyed his family, the farm, working on home projects, gardening, and refinishing furniture. He was very involved in church ministry as a deacon, trustee, Sunday School superintendent and teacher over the years. Lowell was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Luverne, and also Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, MN.
Two Bible verses sum up Lowell’s life philosophy: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3: 23-24
Lowell will be remembered for his internal strength—a life of steadfast love and faithfulness to God and his family, always giving his best, his great determination, and his strong Christian values and ethics. His presence will be greatly missed!
Lowell is survived by his three daughters, Lynette (DeVon) Wiens of Trabuco Canyon, CA, Marcia (Dale) Hummel of Chanhassen, MN, and Sherri (Ron) Alden of San Juan Capistrano, CA; nine grandchildren, Amber (Kevin) Grant, Amanda (Nick) Bockelman, Laura (Jeff) Senters, Benjamin (Sarah) Hummel, Bethany (Pablo) Lozada, Timothy Hummel, Brett (Lauren) Alden, Aubree Alden, and Spencer (Jessica) Alden; 16 great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Logan and Lila Grant, Theo and Ian Bockelman, Ava, Nathan, Lincoln and Ruby Senters, Harrison and Alexander Hummel, Catalina and Lucas Lozada, Gwyneth, Hudson and Graham Alden.
Lowell was preceded in death by his wife, Claudette, eight months ago; mother, Gladys Thone; father, Arnold Thone; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.