EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings family on Sunday paid special tribute to the memory of a matriarch within the organization.
Sharon Lohmar, who worked in the ticket office for more than half of the Vikings 60 seasons, was recognized on the video board before the Vikings hosted the Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium.
She passed away peacefully at her home on Oct. 27 at age 74, bringing an end to her 33-year career with the team that began in 1987. Lohmar always put taking care of fans and coworkers front and center.
A graduate of Chaska High School and the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University), she also was an active member of the Twin City Darts Association.
She is survived by her cousin Greg (Janie) Sicheneder.
Lohmar's Vikings family members miss her warm smile, big hugs, true kindness, dedication to her job and enthusiasm for the team. Coworkers explained Lohmar's grace to Vikings.com.
Joe Mee, Senior Manager of Ticket Operations:
Mee, who worked with Lohmar for 25 years, noted her commitment to her job that included a perfectionism in handling tasks and a profound ability to connect with fans.
"She treated every fan like they were her only fan that she had. She enjoyed the fans, wanted to make sure they had a good time, would treat them with as much respect as possible and offer to help in any way," Mee said. "There were times she went overboard, but they'd walk away smiling. I can't tell you how many letters or emails I would get that would talk about her outstanding service and how she made them feel special — like they were the most special people in the building."
Mee said the recognition for Lohmar before the game was "well-deserved."
"She treated everyone like they were her family, and the Vikings were her family. She only had a couple of relatives — my kids, she was like an aunt to. If someone new came in, she'd greet them with a hug and ask them about their family. She wasn't just doing it to do it. She did it because she would remember it and talk to you about it on future trips."
Cheryl Nygaard, Vikings Director of Information Technology:
"The thing that I will remember most about Sharon is her infectious smile and her warm welcome to the ticket office, which always included a big hug. Sharon was so thoughtful and truly cared about her coworkers," Nygaard said. "She was always one of the first people to call to wish me a happy birthday each year and treated me like a family member.
"I always enjoyed hearing Sharon's stories about her beloved dart league and her various travel adventures," Nygaard added. "One story in particular I remember is when the team was playing a preseason game in San Antonio and [former Owner] Red McCombs had flown the staff to the game. Sharon wanted to pack in as much sightseeing as she possibly could and had planned to visit a nearby church. She entered the church to find that there was a wedding underway. This didn't deter her from taking a seat in a back pew and staying for the ceremony. She didn't know the couple, but she said it was the most beautiful wedding. Sharon had such a kind heart, and I think she treated everyone she met like family."
Chuck Pamperin, Manager of Ticket and Parking Operations:
"When Sharon was dealing with a person on the phone or in person — no matter how upset that person was — by the end of the conversation, the customer was always smiling or laughing with her," Pamperin said. "She was a true professional."
Pamperin said alumni that visited usually walked straight to Lohmar's desk for an instant hug. He also recalled how she "was one of the last people in the city" to prefer using a typewriter instead of a computer but eventually made the switch.
Lohmar broke out earmuffs when the temperature dipped below 50, Pamperin said.
Cold-natured to say the least, she also was undisputedly warm-hearted.
"Sharon treated all of us and our families like they were her family also," Pamperin said. "My sons are 25 and 21 years old. They have known her their whole lives. When they would visit the ticket office, they also went straight to Sharon's desk to say hi and get a hug. They, along with the rest of us who had the privilege of working with her, will miss our friend and family member."