Written by Lucero Benitez, COSS Communications Specialist

Heidi Lofgren was a 2019 graduate with a degree in child development from the department of Child and Family Science at Fresno State. Her husband, Robert Lofgren, notified the department that Heidi passed away suddenly on November 10, 2020.

For nearly 35 years as a staff member at California State University, Stanislaus, Modesto Junior College and University of California, Berkeley, Heidi helped pave the way for thousands of students to get their college degrees.

In 2019, the then 69-year-old student, got her own chance to be honored as a graduate at Fresno State’s 108th Commencement. 

She was very excited for this accomplishment and shared her love for higher education in a story featuring her accomplishments “After decades helping others earn degrees, now it’s her turn.”

Professor Kabeljit Atwal remembers Heidi as an exceptional and unique student whose life’s experiences and passion inspired her as faculty. 

“She was a great role model for other students. It is almost as if she sprinkled an essence of love and wisdom all around in the classroom,” professor Atwal said. “She was a genuine, kind, and compassionate person. Sometimes other students would share with me that Heidi was able to help them, when it came to questions they had.”

Heidi completed her practicum experience at the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center. She was optimistic and enthusiastic about working with young children and often shared that after graduation she planned on opening up her own high quality family daycare program.

According to her husband, after graduation Heidi continued to volunteer her time at Valley Children’s Hospital as well as work with local families with young children. She looked forward to continuing these efforts when, unfortunately, Covid-19 made those plans very difficult. 

In honor of Heidi a tribute will be given to the classroom that she was placed in during her practicum experience. Staff and faculty from the child and family science department send their deepest condolences to the Lofgren family.

Heidi is survived by her son, Jamie, and her daughter, Kristie, as well as five grandchildren. She will be forever remembered by her family and friends and through her own passion for music, dance, sports, and the surrounding natural beauty.

Child and Family Science has been under the College of Social Sciences as of the Summer of 2020.