Len was born in Auburn, WA, on St. Pat’s Day March 17, 1939. He was the only child of Norwegian immigrants, Erling and Karlotta Lofthus. Surrounded by his immediate family, Len passed away in Palm Springs, CA, on Jan. 15, 2019.
Len grew up in Enumclaw where his mother owned and operated the Lofthus store, one block from the old high school frequented by high school students during the 50s and 60s. He worked in the store at times, probably keeping all the kids in line.
After high school, the U.S. Army Reserves beckoned with a six month commitment which he shared with some of his schoolmates. The University of Washington was Len’s next stop, graduating with an accounting/business degree and sitting for the CPA boards. He was a member of Beta Alpha Si honorary fraternity for academic excellence.
Thinking he would take a law degree as well, evening graduate classes commenced but soon faded away.
During this time, Leonard married his hometown, long time love, Sharon Hawthorne, on June 1, 1963. It was the beginning of their solid and loving partnership just shy of 56 years.
Len accepted an offer from the firm of Price Waterhouse Seattle, becoming the firm’s (even today) youngest partner. During his time with the firm, Len and Sharon welcomed three children – Kevin, Melissa and Chris. The family relocated to Rancho Bernardo, CA, (1971) where Len opened an office of PW in San Diego. He worked very hard but always made his children’s games and many times, went back to the office. A business opportunity presented itself and Len left PW to co-own 21 retail auto parts stores and warehouse locations in AZ, NV and CA. He retired at 43, subsequently living in Rancho Bernardo and Lake Tapps. Len and Sharon loved RVing and spent all winters from 1989 on at Outdoor Resort in Cathedral City, CA. At one point, they left Lake Tapps and Rancho Bernardo behind….opting to totally RV for three years…traveling the country with good friends and parts of Mexico. Later, they purchased a home in Eagle, ID, spending summers there.
Len was proud of his accomplishments – he earned them with a solid work ethic. However, Sharon and his family always came first. He loved coaching, the games, golf, country music with his own band and playing solo, street rods and pickle ball in later life. Len was well-read and he so enjoyed political discussions that often turned heated, but he could always back up his beliefs and loved to play devil’s advocate. Len had a special place in his heart for the Class of ‘57 and stayed close to many of his classmates.
Leonard will be thought of by many as a good friend always willing to help, loyal to a fault and an example of a true patriot.
Leonard leaves wife, Sharon; sons, Kevin and Chris (Maria) and daughter, Melissa (Andy); and eight grandchildren.
A first memorial was held at Outdoor Resorts in Cathedral City, CA, on March 9, 2019.
A second Memorial luncheon will be held at 2615-206th Ave. Ct. East (Tapps Island), Lake Tapps, WA on Aug. 10th at 2:00 p.m. Further information, please call 253-797-2906.