Herald Journal Obituaries


DeMarel ‘Sonny’ Litfin, 74

DeMarel “Sonny” Litfin, age 74 of Delano, died peacefully at his home Sunday, July 10, 2005 after a short, intense fight with an aggressive form of cancer.

He was born Sept. 1, 1930 to Maynard and Marie Litfin of Delano.

After graduating from high school, Sonny spent four years in the Navy. He was stationed on the USS Brush Destroyer during the Korean War.

He later came back to Delano to help his father in the family business, M.J. Litfin & Son, Inc.

Sonny married Joan Elms, from Minneapolis, Jan. 30, 1960. They had four children: Greg (Colleen), Sandra (Scott Michaelson), Jeff (Tracey), and Teresa (Jeff Wertz).

As their children grew, Sonny and Joan also focused on building and expanding their business in trucking, excavating, towing, and salvage. Everyone Sonny knew worked hard and played hard, too.

His hobbies included polka dancing and being a member of the Delano American Legion Post 377, the VFW Post 1901 in Montrose, 40 and 8 Voiture 1281, Delano Knights of Columbus 4653, and St. Anthony Society.

Known to many as a great dancer, conversationalist, and the guy with the great smile, Sonny had a love for using all his gifts the best he could. He was always willing to lend a hand and was generous with his time, talent, and treasure.

Some of his accomplishments included: past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, paid-up-for-life member of the VFW, and past commander of Post 1901; and past American Legion commander. He and Joan were the prince and princess of the Polka Lovers Club of America (P.O.L.K.ofA.); and most recently, the American Legion Department of Minnesota appointed him as honorary sergeant at arms for his service to America and his dedication to the American Legion. He was also given a certificate for over 50 years of continuous membership.

Sonny loved to travel abroad and around the states and was fortunate to see many places. He also loved spending time with his family and 10 grandchildren, who gave him great joy.

Two of his favorite sayings were: “I like good food,” and I like nice girls.”

Sonny was preceded in death by his parents; and his baby sister, Donna Mae

He is survived by his wife; his four children; 10 grandchildren: Bryce and Connor Litfin, Rebecca, Daniel, and Aaron Michaelson, Hannah, Ellis and Aidan Litfin; and Lauren and Madeline Wertz; and sister Betty Dalbec.

Sonny was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. We know that his faith, compassion, and friendly spirit have been granted new life.

A concelebrated Mass of Christian Bural took place Thursday, July 14, at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Delano. Father Michael J. Miller was the principal concelebrant, and Dr. Joseph Henry was the organist for the Mass. Special music was provided by the Resurrection Choir, flutist Rebecca Michaelson, and soloist Lauren Wertz. Interment with military rites followed at Calvary Cemetery in Delano. Paul Weindinger provided musical selections at the cemetery.

Casket bearers were Jim Herzog, Frank Muckenhirn, George Nieman, Clem Matter, Henry Vogelgesang, John Stein, and Donald Eppel.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.

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