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Loretta Neuharth

Loretta Neuharth

Loretta Faye Neuharth, artist, teacher, mother of two and grandmother of two, died Sunday September 30, 2018 in Fairfax VA at age 94. Loretta was born Feb. 24, 1924 in Woonsocket SD to Anna and Seymour Helgeland. The third of four children, she attended General Beadle State Teachers College and in her twenties taught grade school in a one-room schoolhouse in South Dakota. She had two children, Dan and Jan. She married her high-school sweetheart, Al Neuharth, in June 1946. She was married to Al, who died in April 2013, for 26 years during his rise from publisher of a small South Dakota weekly sports newspaper, SoDak Sports, to President and eventually Chairman and CEO of Gannett Co. Inc., the nation's largest newspaper publishing company. In addition to South Dakota, Loretta lived in Miami, Key Biscayne, Captiva Island, and Naples FL; Rochester NY; Detroit MI; Leesburg, Great Falls, and Fairfax VA. She traveled the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, and most of the United States. An avid artist, she took art classes at Wayne State University in Michigan, Nazareth College in New York, and achieved her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Miami in 1975. Next to her children, grandchildren and her many friendships, she said that returning to college and completing her degree at age 51 was one of her proudest achievements. She loved gardening and floral designing, big band and swing music, and was a crack skeet shooter, often outshooting male competitors. She won awards for her flower arranging in both Rochester NY and Naples FL. She did volunteer work at Genessee Hospital in Rochester and worked in later life on special projects for Sibley's Department store in Rochester. She loved her dog Seffie and cat Annabelle. Her favorite saying was, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all." Loretta is survived by her son Dan Neuharth of Greenbrae CA; daughter Jan Neuharth of Middleburg VA; son-in-law Joseph Keusch of Middleburg VA; grand-daughter Dani Neuharth-Keusch of Austin TX; grandson AJ Neuharth-Keusch of Reston VA; sister Lois Johnson of Myrtle Beach SC; nieces Bonnie Polly of Elkhorn NE, Pat Helgeland of Sioux Falls SD, Deanna Helgeland Branaugh of Yankton SD, Mary Helgeland Marchand of Mitchell SD, and nephews Ron Johnson and Curt Johnson of Myrtle Beach SC, Dave Helgeland of Brookings SD, Randy Johnson of Fairport NY, Lynn Johnson of Williamsburg VA, Lorin Johnson of Jacksonville OR, and Loren Neuharth of Albuquerque NM. She was preceded in death by her brother Lester Helgeland, sister Wilma Bowman, sister-in-law Irma Helgeland, and parents Anna and Seymour. A private family memorial service will be scheduled at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Horticultural Society or the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.