Arthur D. Lastofka, 85, of Chandler, AZ passed away quietly on August 24, 2016 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Art was born September 17, 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in West Allis, Wisconsin. He was an accomplished athlete, excelling at track and field and football. Art is featured on the Wall of Fame at West Allis Central high school, where he graduated in 1948. He was captain of the Marquette University football team as a halfback in 1951, and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business.
Art married his high school sweetheart, Catherine M. Backe February 23, 1952, took a position with Allis Chalmers in June, and was drafted into the US Army in October that year. He did basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was stationed there for the duration of his service. He was honorably discharged October 13, 1954 as a Corporal.
After his military service, Art returned to Allis Chalmers, where he held a number of positions until December 1962, when he was hired at Gehl Company, West Bend, Wisconsin, as Personnel Manager. He was promoted to Director of Industrial Relations in 1971 and VP Industrial Relations in 1973. Art retired from Gehl in 1991.
Art and Cathy raised six children in West Bend, where Art was active in a variety of community service clubs, earning numerous awards and certificates. He was also popular on the golf course and in the bowling alley, where his skills earned trophies, medals and frequent mentions in the local news.
An avid fan of the Chicago Bears and singer Neil Diamond, Art was beloved for his deep compassion and playful spirit.
Art is survived by his loving wife, Cathy, children Lynn, Susan Marshall, Lori (Gary) Radliff, Stephen, Paul (Angela) and Dean, and sister Diane (Walter) Witty. He is further survived by six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 am Friday, September 23, 2016 at St. Stevens Catholic Church, 24827 S Dobson Rd, Sun Lakes, AZ, with military honors immediately following Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Art’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association online at alz.org or by check to Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter, 1028 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85006-2662.
Remembering Art in repect for his exemplary life starting when we knew him At West Allis Central High School.
His football buddy, Ni ck Krsnich passed away on 11/12/2014. Maybe they will play football again in heaven.
Ken and Sharon Brennan send their sympathy to Kathy and family. Remembering all the good times we had together.
Such a kind and unassuming man, with an obituary to rival titans of industry, and a lovely family to boot. Kathy was so good about transporting an elderly lady to college classes in West Bend which made that woman’s last years very meaningful. Our town missed the Lastofkas but it seems that they had many years enjoying all that Arizona provides. Our sympathy on your loss, Kathy and family.
Thoughts and prayers with grandma and all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and family. I have many fond memories of grandpa, mostly from when I was a little boy visiting their home in West Bend. Grandpa would always make me laugh and put a smile on my face. One thing I remember was that he always wanted me to give him my hardest high-five when I came over to visit. Each time when I gave him my high-five, he would pretend it hurt so bad because I was so strong. I knew it didn’t hurt him and it probably hurt my hand much more than his, but I always looked forward to those moments so I could see him smile and make me happy. I truly admire my grandpa for the great man that he was, the fulfilling life he lived, and the loving family he raised. He will always hold a special place in my heart and I know he is now in a better place.
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