Daryl Jean 'DJ' Lottman
March 9, 2023
Daryl Jean "DJ" Lottman was born November 12, 1935, to Everett Lottman and Mabel Goertz (Lottman) in Dell Rapids, S. D., at the end of the Great Depression and the Start of World War ll. DJ left this earth on February 12, 2023, and was preceded in death by his siblings, Terry Lottman, Eugene Lottman and Sandra German. DJ is survived by his siblings, Judy Gebhardt, Gloria Haugse, Kenny Lottman, David Lottman, Linda Tracy, Douglas Lottman; his five children, Becky Wiskus (Richard), Scott Lottman (Pam), Brett Lottman, Laura Herr (Kent), Pam Nett (Chris); and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he adored. DJ was a beloved son, grandson, brother, friend, and eventually father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a writer and a grand storyteller. Although we wish we had more time to learn from him, we celebrate the many lessons he has left us in his poetry and stories.
DJ moved around frequently as a child. It seemed a common theme that he would seek out trouble, or as he would call it "fun" with his friends in his early years. In many of his stories, you can sense the admiration he had for his mother, but, the way his writing comes to life in a short-story he wrote about his Gramps, "A Grand Affair," -you can't help but feel it must have been Gramps who taught DJ much about love. DJ writes: He was full of fun and mischief, and if I had something to say he had time to listen.
DJ joined the Navy in 1955 and soon after changed his military service to Air Force. He was stationed in Idaho at Mountain Home Air Force Base. It was there where he married and started a family. He was one of the first to work for Truss Joist Corp., a company who pioneered a type of engineered lumber that revolutionized the wood products industry. He worked for Truss Joist for 17 years before he made the move to enter into dairy farming with his father-in-law on a 40 acre farm in Star, Idaho. The farm is where he made many memories with his children and where they too learned to seek out "fun," evoking many "for crying out louds," from their father as they learned a lesson or two themselves.
When the kids were grown, DJ left Idaho and began his journey to settle in Ten Sleep, Wyo. He quickly decided Ten Sleep had little to offer him, so he continued to Thermopolis, Wyo., where he settled for 27 years. In Thermopolis, he made a home for himself at Hot Springs Christian Church where he was the beloved pastor for many years. Along with leading Sunday service, he officiated many weddings and funerals. This was particularly special to him-he kept every service he ever wrote. DJ's faith was a guiding force for him. Among the many literary treasures he left behind, one of his most precious was his book: Think on These Things where DJ translated the first five books of the Old Testament into poetry.
He loved to walk the green belt along the Big Horn River every morning and admired everything about Hot Springs State Park. He spent much of his time giving back to the community and volunteered at Pioneer Home. Every year, his children and grandchildren would pass around the phone at Christmas, taking turns talking to Grandpa. They remember him lovingly sharing that he "dressed up as Santa again for the old people". They laugh about this memory noting that the residents were usually barely older than DJ himself.
There were few things DJ loved more than the hot summer sun and baseball. He was a devoted Colorado Rockies fan and rarely missed tuning into a game. Along with baseball, DJ was a big supporter of NCAA women's basketball. Aside from sports, DJ also loved to make jam. Each Summer, he would harvest the choke cherries from the neighbors' yard and raspberries from his own. His son, Brett, would send blackberries and blueberries from Oregon and the family would gather for a weekend of jam making; a tradition that will live on in his memory.
DJ spent the last two years of his life living in Idaho learning about and loving his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Like his Gramps, he was full of fun and mischief-and always took the time to truly listen to you. In the same short story about his Gramps DJ wrote: I am reminded of him when I see a well-kept garden, a beautiful basket of strawberries, (he grew the best), or an older person taking time to listen to what a child has to say. I am reminded of him when I see my own grandchildren, and I realize, I have a legacy to carry on.
DJ did just that. His own grandchildren are reminded of him when we hear baseball commentating in the family room, or when we spread a glob of DJ's jam on our toast in the mornings. We are reminded of him when we bake in the hot summer sun, or when we rattle out a quick-witted joke. We remember him always as we reflect on and cherish our very own Grand Affair.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
DJ will be laid to rest at the Veterans Cemetery in Boise, Idaho in the Summer.