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Herb Lee Loken


11/21/1923 - 02/13/2014 Obituary
Herb Lee Loken Obituary
Herbert Lee Loken (Herb) passed away peacefully on February 13, 2014. He was born on November 21, 1923 in Williams , Montana, to Alfred and Clara Loken. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Minneapolis. He entered the military as a freshman at the University of Minnesota in 1943. He joined the Army Paratroops and served until 1946. He jumped in the invasion of France, served in five campaigns and was awarded the Bronze Star in the Battle of the Bulge. His last tour of duty was Staff Sergeant in General Eisenhower's private guard.
After being discharged, he returned to the U of M under the GI Bill and earned his degree in physical education. In his senior year he married the love of his life, and his favorite dance partner, Rita Pouliot. He enjoyed a teaching career of five years in Minneapolis and, settling into their first new home (a 900 sq. ft. "rambler") believed they were set for life. However, Bakersfield College beckoned and Herb was hired to be the brand new gymnastics coach at Bakersfield College in 1956. As difficult as it was to leave family and friends in Minnesota, Herb was thrilled to join the outstanding staff at BC and be a part of such a supportive community. His tenure included department chair and athletic director, following Gil Bishop, until his retirement in 1983 Upon retirement, Herb continued as the BC Alumni Secretary. This position lasted for 16 additional years, so in all his tenure on the BC staff was for 43 years.
Continuing their love of music and dance, Herb and his wife taught classes in ballroom dance at BC and Cal State. They were offered positions as the dance and exercise team on board the Delta Cruise Line out of San Francisco. This led to further enjoyment as travel escorts for local agencies for the next 25 years, traveling throughout the USA and Europe.
Some of the awards he received included the Past President's Honor award from CAHPER, California Commission on Athletics Hall of Fame, BC Alumni Hall of Fame, Bob Elias Hall of Fame, and a Key to the City from Mayor Don Hart.
Herb and Rita recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary and his 90th birthday with their daughters, Mary &Tony Cornett, Amy Loken, Ellen &David Griffin, Martha Somers, Clare &Todd Barksdale, 16 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
Herb recently said "with my dear family, my faith & friends and Big Band Music...I was truly blessed!"
Rosary will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Wednesday, February 19, at 7:30pm.
Celebration of Life and reception to follow will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Thursday, February 20, at 10am.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Feb. 15, 2014
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