Louis 'Ming' Lohman embraced family, farming, canoeing

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | 9:15 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA— Louis "Ming" Lohman gave his grandchildren the kind of childhood many children would envy.

Fishing in his farm ponds and hay-bale jumping are just some of the fond memories Mr. Lohman's family have of him.

"Ming was quite a guy," his daughter-in-law Patricia Heglund said. "He was definitely a man who lived very simply and very honestly."

Louis Maring "Ming" Lohman of Columbia died Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, of natural causes. He was 92.

Mr. Lohman was born July 10, 1921, in Jefferson City to Ira H. and Ida May Maring. He attended Jefferson City High School and was an all-conference guard on the basketball team.

He served with the Army Air Corps, a predecessor to the U.S. Air Force, during World War II, doing weather analysis for the pilots. After returning from the war, he attended MU and received a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1947.

A few years later, he took a job as a soil sampler in Dexter. The decision to move to Dexter changed the course of his life.

Mary Marguerite Kirk, the woman who would later become his wife, first spotted Mr. Lohman walking toward the office on his first day of work, carrying a canoe on his back.

"They fell in love and were married in three weeks," Mr. Lohman's son Lee Lohman said. They were married on June 1, 1950, in Dexter.

The couple had four children and spent their married lives on a farm in Woodlandville, which is northwest of Columbia. Mr. Lohman was fond of saying that Boone County was a good place to raise kids and crops.

"We enjoyed a good life farming and all the benefits of being outdoors," Lee Lohman said.

The children would often show steers with 4-H at the Boone County Fair. The farming community readily accepted Mr. Lohman, despite his city upbringing.

"People in the community accepted him because he had such an interest in farming and had a love for cattle," Lee Lohman said.

In addition to farming and raising cattle, Mr. Lohman worked as a meteorologist for the National Weather Service bureau in Columbia. He used weather balloons to predict temperatures and would give the forecast on the radio.

Lee Lohman also remembers that his father canoed with his children and took his sons to the Ozarks when they were young.

"I remember sleeping on the sandbars and listening to the river flow by and sleeping real soundly because we paddled all day," Lee Lohman said.

The boys would wake up to their dad cooking bacon and eggs over a fire, proving to his sons that their mother wasn't the only cook in the house.

All four of the Lohman children attended MU, and Lee Lohman credits his father with their educational success.

"We didn't have to go too far to go to college," Lee Lohman said.

Mr. Lohman spent the end of his life as the primary caretaker for his wife, who battled Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade. A dedicated husband, Mr. Lohman visited her once or twice a day.

"He did everything he could to make her life comfortable," Lee Lohman said.

Mr. Lohman is survived by his four children, Louis Kirk Lohman and his wife, Patricia, of La Crosse, Wis.; Ira Lee Lohman and his wife, Amy, of Terre Haute, Ind.; Mary Lou Dworak and her husband, Tom, of Lee's Summit; and Ann Toellner and her husband, Dennis, of Columbia; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

His wife and three siblings, Ira H. Lohman Jr., Marge Helmreich and Ida May Bates died earlier.

Visitation will start at 10 a.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home. Services will begin at 11 a.m., with burial immediately following at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 2400 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO 65201 or the Woodlandville United Methodist Church, 9801 W. Wilhite Lane, Rocheport, MO 65279.

Condolences can be posted at

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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