HURON — Warren K. Lotsberg, 76, of Huron, passed away Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home surrounded by his family.
A celebration of his life will be from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, March 15, at the Kuhler Funeral Home with a time of sharing at 6:30 p.m. Military rites will be presented by the Huron Veterans Council. A Masonic service will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15, at the Kuhler Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 15, with family present from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kuhler Funeral Home.
Warren Keith Lotsberg was born July 17, 1942, to Paul and Edmere (Bjorklund) Lotsberg at Chicago, Ill. In 1944, the family moved to Buffalo, Minn. where Warren graduated from Buffalo High School in 1960.
On June 24, 1960, Warren enlisted with the United States Navy where he served in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was honorably discharged May 2, 1961, at Great Lakes, Ill. Warren returned to his home in Buffalo where he attended the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis.
In 1968, Warren relocated his family to Brookings to work in the advertising industry. He purchased the eastern South Dakota division of Cunningham advertising and renamed it Warren Advertising. He owned many billboards throughout South Dakota.
Warren married Judith Ann Wilch on March 24, 1978, at Brookings.
In September of 1980, Warren began a 25 years career with Northwestern Energy, formerly Northwestern Public Service Company, starting as the Consumer Affairs Manager, at Huron. He also served as their Vice President of Public Affairs, chief lobbyist and spokesperson. For more than 13 years, he was the host and author of NorthWestern’s two-minute radio editorial program called “Perspectives.” In the late 1990’s, his focus with Northwestern shifted to the political side, when he became the Government Affairs Director. Much of his time was spent in Pierre at the state capitol where he represented the company on regulatory and legislative matters. Warren retired from Northwestern Energy in 2005.
Serving 15 years for the Railroad Authority, Warren was appointed in 1995 by Governor Bill Janklow and reappointed by Governor Mike Rounds.
Warren served as Chairperson throughout all of the South Dakota Labor Workforce programs. He was the first chair of what was then the Job Service Improvement Committee (JSIC) in the 1970’s. Next came the Private Industry Council in the early 1980’s, where he remained the Chairperson. In the mid 1990’s it became the Workforce Development Council, responsible for allocating millions of dollars to S.D. for federal job training, where he remained Chairperson until 2015.
Warren had been active in the community serving on the Greater Huron Development Corporation Board, the Huron Chamber Board and Project 21.
In 1999, Warren was appointed to the S.D. State Fair commission, and served as chairman from 2005 to 2018. He remained on the commission until his passing. He promoted the activities for the state fair, and had a keen eye for its infrastructure. He was a good host to the media during the fair, and was a great leader to the commission while offering guidance with a side of humor. Warren was also a licensed pilot and currently served as secretary of the Huron Airport Board. Warren had done a considerable amount of public speaking and was a popular emcee both throughout South Dakota and nationally.Warren was a strong advocate for the Huron community. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason; past master of the Huron Masonic Lodge #26 A.F. & A.M., a member of the Shriners and a lifetime member of the Jaycees. Warren was a longtime member of the Huron Country Club and the Huron Elks Lodge #444.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Judy Lotsberg of Huron, five children, Troy (Janelle) Fergen of Sioux Falls, Todd Fergen of Brookings, Anne Lotsberg Bonack (John) Wiedmaier of Lake Tomahawk, Wisc., Patty Lotsberg (Rodney) Amland of Cottage Grove, Minn., and Matthew Lotsberg of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; twelve grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; his brother, Wayne Lotsberg of The Villages, Fla.; and his sister-in-law, Sandra Bendt-Aguilar of Huron.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Lotsberg and Edmere Allums; and his stepfather, Lenard Allums.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the South Dakota State Fair Foundation, 1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350. To Donate, please visit www.sdstatefairfoundation.com/donate.