The Thooft kids have some news to share about our dad. On January 5, 2022, Alfred Eloi Thooft finally got out of the nursing home and headed to heaven. While we are sad he is gone, we are so thankful for all that he taught us during our lifetimes. He taught us how to be a good friend and to help others. He taught us how to put our families first. And he taught us how to work hard. Dad was always up early accomplishing a half day’s work before breakfast. After dinner, he would recharge with a 10-minute nap on the floor and then he’d be back out to the barn, field, or shop.
Our dad was born on April 15, 1936, in Island Lake Township in Lyon County, MN to Alois and Svenina (Larson) Thooft. He had four brothers and three sisters. He attended school in Tyler, MN until he turned 16 and then he focused his time on farming with his dad. He was amazed by how farming changed from using horses when he was a kid to what it is today. It was always important to him to pass along a love for animals and the land. Without a doubt, farming remains a family tradition and we all love animals of all kinds. We are thankful that he fell in love with our mom, Wanda (Johnson) Thooft, and married her on November 23, 1957. Because they fell in love, eight of us were born and we gave them 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren (with many more on the way). Together they shaped and molded us to go out into the world to make a positive difference, and hopefully we will pass that along to many future Thooft generations. He enjoyed swimming at Dead Coon Lake as a kid and catching sunnies on Crooked Lake as an adult. The man could clean fish in no time flat! Dad’s time was often spent fixing anything we put in front of him from snowmobiles to lawn mowers to hair dryers. Many years Alfred would go deer hunting up north with his friends. After retirement, Dad would get away from the cold and wind during the winters and head to California. He made new coffee shop buddies there and learned about different forms of farming.
Alfred was preceded in death by son, Daniel; grandson, Ryan Thooft; four brothers, Henry, Alvin, Julius, and Oscar; and two sisters, Emma VanAcker and Sophia DeVos. Those of us who will continue to tell stories about Alfred include his wife, Wanda; and his children, Angela (Hubert) Slegers of Hilmar, CA; Marcia (Jon) Erickson of Balaton, MN; Gail (Gene) Lutteke of New Ulm, MN; Lowell (Shirley) Thooft of Tyler; Sandy (Kenny) Erickson of Ruthton, MN; Tim (Jodi) Thooft of Tyler; and LeAnn (Jay) Brown of Chisago City, MN. Alfred is also survived by his sister, Doris Vermeire.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, services in honor of Alfred will be private at this time. Public services will be held at a later date.