IF I DON’T SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE I’LL SEE YOU IN THE PASTURE Harold Lofton was fond of saying.....
Harold was born on April 4, 1928 in Paonia, Colorado to Joseph Lofton and Bessie Tuttle. His younger years were spent in Colorado where his dad worked for the railroad. He later joined his mother in Arizona and then California.
In 1946 at age 18, he bought a Model A Ford truck and drove from California up the Al Can Highway, which was mostly a dirt road, to Anchorage Alaska. On his return to California he attended Ventura City College where he met his future wife, Joan Covington. He worked at the local airfield and in lieu of a salary he took flying lessons. This came in handy for taking Joan up for her first flight. In 1950 Uncle Sam had plans for Harold. He was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. He spent his tour of duty as a medic stationed at the hospital at Fort Campbell, Kentucky which was followed by his marriage to Joan in Holland, Michigan 1951.
After the army he worked for a short while in Michigan but the spirit of adventure called and the couple, with their two infant daughters, headed west to California towing their trailer/home. The move was a success that allowed them to buy their first home, start a welding business, and have 3 more children.
Always the adventurers, he and Joan learned to scuba dive. They made frequent camping trips to Mexico where their diving skills put lobster and fish on the table. They would take clothing and toys with them to donate to the local families.
The sea became a part of Harold so he decided to build a boat of his own. He worked after hours and on weekends to build his 48' steel hulled ketch at his business, Halco Welding, in South El Monte. When the boat was finally finished it was a major challenge to get the boat to the Long Beach Harbor. He had to do some serious planning to negotiate the many freeway overpasses. The boat was launched in May 1966 and christened, Adios.
Nearly every weekend the family would sail to Avalon on Catalina Island. Harold and Joan bought some apartments there and for many months the Adios was used to transport all the building materials to renovate them. In 1972 Harold, now a skilled sailor and navigator, set sail with his family south to Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean Islands, Columbia, and finally making port in Tarpon Springs, Florida. They spent a year in Florida and then sailed the boat back to Long Beach CA.
Harold was soon ready for a new adventure and in 1978 headed north to Oregon where he established Halco Welding in South Beach for its close proximity to the fishing industry. He and his wife settled in the rural countryside where they raised sheep and became involved in the Logsden community. He had worked doing metal sculpture with others before but in Oregon he started creating his own. He expanded his artistic range to include blowing glass which became his passion. His art work has been shown in galleries and is in private collections. One of his creations is a tall steel obelisk erected on the hill near his house which marks his gravesite.
Harold’s life was certainly richer and more complicated than can be recounted here. He was proceeded in death by his daughter Lora De, his parents, one half sister, Donnis Crawford, and a half brother, Alan Lofton. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Joan and his daughters, Danie Claire, Stacey Ann, and sons, Stuart Eric and Steven Kenneth. Also survived by 14 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren and his half sister, Charlotte Hale.
A private family graveside service was held.
A reception will take place at the Logsden Community Club, Sunday, November 3 from 2p - 4p. Harold loved desserts so please feel free to bring your favorites to share.
Contributions in Harold’s name can be made to the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, Oregon.