Drive-in memorial service held for ‘adventurous spirit’

Relatives and friends of Dr Loren Hufstetler gathered in their vehicles at the family farm to pay tribute to him.

Drive-in memorial service held for ‘adventurous spirit’ STV News

A drive-in memorial service was held to mark the life of an “adventurous spirit” in a field next to his home.

Family and friends of Dr Loren Hufstetler gathered at the family farm near West Saltoun, East Lothian, this week to pay tribute to him.

And amid laughter and tears, they remembered the 87-year-old – whose life took him from Utah to Scotland – in a way his stepdaughter Samantha Dodds said he would have truly appreciated.

Around 50 cars drove into the private field at the side of the family home, where a stage and speakers had been set up ahead of the service.

His grandchildren arrived in one of his treasured vintage vehicles to be greeted by car horns tooting as they drove into the service.

Dr Hufstetler's grandchildren arrive at the memorial service.STV News

Lone piper Kenny Campbell accompanied the hearse and Lauren’s other love – his penny farthing – sat alongside a wreath featuring it as the service got under way.

A Burns fan, Dr Hufstetler’s daughter Samantha started the celebration of his life with a rendition of A Man’s A Man, with guests invited throughout the service to join in singing during the Skye Boat Song and Keep Right On To The End of The Road, by Harry Lauder.

There was laughter and choruses of car horns sounded in delight at some of the stories told.

Dr Hufstetler, who along with wife Julie owned and ran Cluny Lodge and Chamberlain Care Home in Edinburgh, was described by his family during the service as a devoted husband and family man who always looked at what he could do for others.

Trained as a civil engineer, he grew up in Utah before moving with his family to Los Angeles, where he pursued a career in the theatre.

However, he moved to Scotland after meeting Julie and the couple raised their mixed family, including several adopted children from Romania.

Son Dean, who described himself as Loren’s first adopted son, was unable to travel to the memorial because of travel restrictions as he is currently working in Romania.

He sent a message via his younger brother Nick saying his dad always taught them the importance of “giving back at the same time”.

The family gave special thanks to William Purves funeral directors for helping them arrange the memorial service.

Dr Hufstetler’s funeral will be held in Helmsley on Thursday, October 22.

Story by local democracy reporter Marie Sharp

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