Ripon, Wisconsin: March 15, 1950 - May 24, 2024

Loren Boone


Loren James Boone — writer, editor, walker, volunteer, donor, event planner, flower gardener, loyal friend and most of all devoted husband — passed away at home May 4, 2024, at age 74.
The last thing Loren wanted was to be defined by the cancer he had battled since 2015 and especially a hard fight since late 2021. Rather, he asked to be remembered for those things he loved the most and for being a person who, until the pandemic, brought people together for fun and fellowship. That became more difficult as the pandemic eased and his health declined. But his curiosity and care for others never waned.
Loren was born on March 15, 1950, in Britton, SD. On Sept 8, 1973, Loren married Deanna Knutson in Brookings, SD where they made their home while he worked at South Dakota State University, his alma mater where he earned a journalism degree in 1972. He had been an All-State High School Journalist at his hometown in Britton, so writing and editing was a natural direction for him.
Professionally, he had started his career as a reporter for the Huron Daily Plainsman in Huron, SD, before becoming news editor at the new daily Brookings Register in 1973. He spent 40 years in higher education communications first at South Dakota State University; then Ripon College in Ripon, WI, from 1989-2005; and finally, from 2005-2016 at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, as assistant vice president of marketing and communications.
He volunteered much of his time in retirement managing the Ripon Community Dinner, sponsored by the First Congregational Church and was known to seek volunteer opportunities that would enhance the community. He proudly served on the Council of Trustees for South Dakota State University, always a Jackrabbit at heart.
Over the years, he was very active in the Optimist Club of Brookings, where he served as president. In Ripon, he focused on community-wide involvement including the Chamber of Commerce, serving as president. He also was chair of the Little White Schoolhouse committee and received the Chamber’s distinguished service award.
For more than 50 years, he was extensively involved with his college fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, serving in local, regional, and national positions. In 2021, he was awarded Distinguished Service Award No. 146 of 350,000 initiates at the fraternity’s national convention. He was a True Gentleman to his core.
Loren is survived by his wife Deanna, of Ripon; three brothers: Robert (Norma) Boone of Amherst, SD, Gerald Boone of Gulfport, MS; and Kim (Sally) Boone of Albany, OR; brother-in-law Duane Knutson of Brookings, SD; sister-in-law Doreen (Richard) Hemish of Canby, MN; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and his special feline friend, Miss Granite.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Gerrit and Jacoba (Cleveringa) Boone, and Harry and Pearl (Farrington) Swan; his parents James and Gladys (Swan) Boone; brother Dennis Lee Boone in 2019; nephew Robert Boone in 1982; and feline friends Watson, Ceresco, Max and Lady Slipper.
Loren was delighted to be entrusted as spiritual godfather for T.J. Hitchman, Cedar Falls, IA; Tom Fishback, Brookings, SD; Amy Smith DeKanick, Dayton, MN; Scott Smith; Mahtomedi, MN; Gretchen Iverson, Minneapolis, MN, and Christopher Lyke, Austin, TX.
Visitation for Loren will be from 9 until 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11at First Congregational Church, 220 Ransom St., Ripon, WI 54971. A memorial service for Loren will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at First Congregational Church in Ripon, with Rev. Jeffrey Dodson officiating. You may view a livestream of the service by visiting A luncheon will follow the service. Inurnment will take place on Saturday, May 18,, at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Cemetery, West Eighth St. S, Brookings, SD 57006.
In lieu of flowers, memorials for Loren may be directed to SDSU Foundation, C.J. Delbridge Fund for SAE leadership development; the Loren J. and Deanna V. Boone Scholarship Fund for Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity; or First Congregational Church of Ripon.
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