Lester W. Stapf, 89, of rural Farmington, died July 20, 2009, at Three Links Care Center in Northfield, after a brief illness.
Mr. Stapf was born Nov. 2, 1919, at the Stapf family farm in Empire Township, Dakota County. He was a trucker for many years, for a time in the late 1930s driving for Dart Transportation, hauling freight between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul during the early years of over-the-road trucking. In 1940, he began hauling milk from local dairy farms to the former Twin City Milk Producers Association (later Mid-America Dairymen, and now Kemps) processing plant in Farmington. At one time, he hauled milk for over 75 local dairy farmers located throughout southeastern Dakota County. In 1979, he sold his milk hauling business, and retired from trucking. Mr. Stapf took great pride that in a business which required seven days per week performance, he experienced only one day in nearly 40 years when inclement weather kept him from completion of his route.
From 1979 until 1984, he was employed at the University of Minnesota Agricultural Research Station near Rosemount. From about 1972 until 1997, he also served as cemetery sexton for Emmanuel Cemetery, and eventually Castle Rock Valley Cemetery, Greenvale Township Cemetery and Farmington Lutheran Cemetery. Over the years during different periods of his working life, Mr. Stapf also drove school bus for Marshall Lines of Farmington, both as a full time and a part-time substitute driver. Mr. Stapf estimated that he logged approximately two million miles as a truck/bus driver, most of which were over the roads of rural Dakota County.
Mr. Stapf was also for many years an active member of his church, McKinley Chapel of Castle Rock, where he served a number of terms on the board of trustees.
Mr. Stapf was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Edna (Guildner) Stapf, in February, 1999; and by his parents, Vera (Kadel) Stapf in 1987, and Seybert Stapf in 1989.
He is survived by his son, Joseph (Connie) of Brooksville, Fla.; his daughter, Bette, of Farmington; his grandson, Bennett Stapf (Heather) and great grandchildren Sydney, Jaxson, and Cohen of Portage, MI; granddaughter, Marleah Ruiz (Carlos) of Hialeah, Fla.; grandson, Daniel Stapf of Artesia, NM; and granddaughter, Jillian Stapf of Northridge, Calif. He is also survived by his sisters Marilyn (Allen) Hoffman of Hampton, Evelyn (Don) Lorenz of St. Cloud; and several nieces and nephews. Lastly, Mr. Stapf is survived by a very special friend and neighbor, Mark Wagenknecht.
Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25, 2009 at the Castle Rock United Methodist Church, 27890 Delft Ave. W., Castle Rock, with visitation on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the White Funeral Home, 901 3rd Street, Farmington and one hour prior to service at church.
Interment will be at Emmanuel Cemetery, Castle Rock. Sign guestbook at: www.whitefuneralhomes.com
White Funeral Home, Farmington, 651-463-7374.