Donald N. Lovig 1947-2022

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Don Lovig, at 75, passed peacefully into the arms of his precious friend Jesus on May 11,2022.

Don was born Feb. 5, 1947 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Henry Benjamin Lovig and Mable “Young” Lovig. Don was in fact a walking Miracle! At 10 years old, Don was an early recipient of Brain Surgery. There were concerns that he may never walk again and that his vision may be damaged, but after months in the hospital, and years struggling under his Mom’s overprotective attempts to keep him from running and jumping and playing and hitting his head he did them all.

At 18 years old he felt he had to get out of the nest and off to Alaska he went. It was at this stage of his journey that Don found his best friend “Labradors” and his great passion for Dog Training. Don’s work with the BLM led him to Dillon, Montana. He later enjoyed his transition to working at the Dillon Hitchin Post Sporting goods store and was an asset to the sportsmen. After his partial retirement, Don worked with Maintenance at Dillon Mental Health for 10 years.

But Don’s favorite work and activity was Training Hunting Retrievers and dogs in general. “Dog Trainer” was in fact Don’s most significant identity. His Joy in helping the 4-H children train dogs and judge their competitions made him light up! Don expressed humbly that training dogs was not work but his therapy, and that he got more from them than he ever gave. Don had suffered with an anxiety disorder since he was a teen. He never knew if it was related to baggage from his physical brain surgery or the pressures put upon him as he struggled to recover. Whatever the cause, it was the most difficult struggle in his life.

Don enjoyed testifying about an encounter he had with Jesus in 2011. He revealed that since he was young, he had struggled with not being able to feel love, so he had closed himself off to feeling much at all. Though in the same breath he would say, “that’s why I preferred my Dogs because they love you unconditionally.” Then one cold day he took a bad fall while hunting out at Poindexter Slough. He said that through the trauma he felt the love of Jesus come to his aid then into his heart and that he was able to finally feel love again, for others and from others. It was so evident that something, “JESUS,” had transformed Don in a very real way. Don became one of our favorite Prayer Warriors with simple, real and powerful words. He always remembered and asked about each of our children and spouses by name. His openness to love also opened his heart up to his first girlfriend named Carol. I literally never saw Don so happy and full of life, it seemed to rival even a Labrador’s unconditional love!

Don moved to a friend’s ranch in Sheridan, Montana, when he became less independent but within six months it was clear to him that Dillon was the only place he would feel at home. It is also ironic that Don passed away at one of his favorite places to be, “Barrett Hospital!” He had come to just love their care in the last days of his beautiful life.

Don is survived by his sister, Barbara White in California; his niece Angela “Robert”; and nephew Steve; along with five great nieces and nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Mabel Lovig; his niece Colleen; and his brother-in-law Bill.

A simple Memorial Sharing will be held at Poindexter Slough on June 23, 2022, 10:30 a.m. proceeding Don’s wishes to have his ashes scattered along with the ashes of his last Lab, Nudge.

Thank You from the heart, to all those who helped care for Don and his Dogs in his final days.