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John Loseth is the answer for Week 337 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: His father was a pharmacist.

Tuesday: He worked for Hanson Garage.

Wednesday: Could fix nearly anything

Thursday: Was Norwegian

Friday: Drove a semi for Star Motor Freight

Saturday: Managed two credit unions

John Douglas Loseth was born Sept. 10, 1931, in Lewiston to Johnny O. and Dorothy M. Page Loseth. He attended Orofino schools and graduated from Orofino High School in 1949.

He attended the University of Idaho for a year and a half before enlisting in the United States Army and serving in the Korean Conflict from 1951 through 1954 where he earned the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

He married Mildred Merle Bobbitt on Dec. 31, 1956, in Orofino and they spent the past 53 years living in the family residence on Riverside Ave. where he had lived since age five. His father remodeled the home from a former Catholic Church.

John was employed at Hanson's Garage as a youth through his high school years. He returned to work at the garage after being honorably discharged from the service after the Korean Conflict. He left the garage to drive a semi-truck for Star Motor Freight for several years and then campaigned with his wife and sons and was elected Probate Judge for Clearwater County serving from 1965 through 1971. John used his life experiences to help many young people get their lives back on track and become better citizens.

He then took an interest in bookkeeping and worked for Konkolville Lumber Company and the Clearwater County Road department before starting his career in credit union management. He served as manager of the Orofino Community Credit Union from 1979 through 1993 and finished his credit union career as the Orofino Branch Manager of Potlatch #1 Federal Credit Union from 1993 until retiring in 1995. He enjoyed helping many credit union members with their needs throughout his credit union career.

John was a volunteer fireman for the Orofino Fire Department for many years, an active member of the Orofino Lions Club in the 1960's and early 1970's, a member of the American Legion, and a member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post #3296. He served as the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post #3296 Commander for two years from 1966-68 and remained a lifelong member after being honorably discharged from the United States Army.

A member of Orofino Rotary Club for more than 20 years and a Paul Harris Fellow, John served as secretary during the early 1990's. He became an Honorary Member in 2009. He and his wife Merle enjoyed being members of the Orofino Fine Gold Camping Club and spent many years traveling and staying in campgrounds in the area while building fond memories with their many friends.

After retirement, he enjoyed meeting with his many friends at the "coffee clutch" in the mornings at Krystal's Cafe' and in the afternoon at the Ponderosa Restaurant. He served as president of the "OFC" club, known locally among friends as the "Orofino's Finest Citizen's" club.

His many hobbies included trading cars, fixing them up for sale and boasted about owning over 113 vehicles throughout his life, his first one being a 1927 Nash purchased and rejuvenated by him at age 14. He was well loved by his son's many friends for always fixing their broken down cars through their high school years and keeping all their friends cruising around Orofino.

He was a self-taught carpenter, totally remodeling the family home several times and designed and made wooden furniture to include a built-in china cabinet to match the dining room table. John was loyal in visiting sick friends and sensed when there was a need to help. He was known for his ability as a "mister fixit" and enjoyed doing any kind of repairs for his friends and others.

He was always interested in helping others and could be seen in the early mornings plowing snow with his blue tractor from the sidewalks around town before going to work and until darkness fell after work. He helped keep the Rotary baseball field in good shape, mowing and taking care of weeds.

He passed away June 25, 2010.

Photo: John Loseth

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Lewiston 208-503-7107
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