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Austin Philip Loeffler

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known as “Ozzie” died May 25, 2021 age 94, of Homosassa Florida. He grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota. Ozzie never actually graduated from high school, something he was always quite proud of. He followed in his father’s footsteps and at age 16 enrolled at Saint Johns University in MN. At age 17, he joined the US Navy and was stationed near Jacksonville, FL at the now closed Yellow Water Military Base. He was trained as a helicopter tail gunner. He met his wife of 68 years, Frances Kroner, in Winona, MN while both were working as directors at the Catholic Rec. Center. In 1964, they moved their four young children to Bemidji, MN. Ozzie worked at Bemidji State University as a professor of health and recreation for 34 years. He retired in 1993 as a professor Emeritus. While teaching he earned a PhD in education at Columbia Pacific University. Ozzie was a lifelong athlete and had numerous accomplishments. Including: was the trainer for the Minnesota Vikings at training camp in Bemidji in 1964, officiating high school basketball and football for six decades, he was offered a tryout at the St. Louis Cardinals training camp, played in the Minnesota state softball tournament when 56 years old, he was the head coach of the Winona Cotter boys basketball state championship team. Oz played competitive tennis until he was well into his 80’s. In his last few years, Ozzie enjoyed spending time with friends and family, playing bridge, daily prayers with Fran and supporting dozens of charities. He is survived by his wife, Fran, their four children, Leslie (Jim), Nina (Mike), Steve (Ann) and Doug (Tammy), six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Who knew that the little boy who grew up in the small town of New Ulm, pulling his red wagon along the streets, collecting scrap metal to sell for nickels and dimes to buy his first baseball glove, would one day accomplish all that he has and make us all so proud. Arrangements were under the direction of the Homosassa Chapel of Hooper Funeral Home & Crematory. Ozzie would say God bless you, your family, your loved ones, all your workers, their needs and deeds. Condolences can be sent to: Fran, Sunflower Springs Assisted Living, #215, 8733 W. Yulee Dr Homosassa, FL 34448.

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