Alwes remembered for her love of making donuts at Casey’s
It may have been the busiest day of the year for Casey’s in Mantorville with Marigold Days in full swing, but that didn’t stop the store managers and employees from remembering one of their own who died suddenly earlier in the week.
Lorie Alwes, 59, of rural Kasson was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Labor Day as she made her way to the store in the early morning hours to do what she loved to do most—make donuts.
Casey’s manager Bob Soland said Alwes always kept perfecting her art of making donuts. Soland laughed about how Alwes couldn’t just leave the donuts glazed and went through the extra steps of adding different colors of frosting to them. “She had to make them pretty,” he said. “They’re flower donuts now.”
For six years, Alwes worked the “donut shift” at Casey’s. She made cake donuts from scratch usually beginning at 2:30 a.m. “It’s a full court press job for about six hours,” Soland said.
Alwes didn’t show up for work on Labor Day. Her vehicle wasn’t discovered until around 4 p.m. that afternoon, nearly 14 hours after she was supposed to be at work. Her son Matt found the vehicle in the area of County Road 15 and 265th Avenue. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but the car struck several trees and ended up in a ravine.
Soland said it was a “tough week” for employees at Casey’s as they mourned the loss of a fellow worker. He found himself “in shock” when he found out about Alwes’ death. “When someone is 59, you’re not counting on it,” he said.
It’s company policy for Casey’s, Soland said, to close the store usually for one hour on the day of the funeral. A sign was placed on the door letting customers know that they store was closed “to honor the life of Lori Alwes, one of our family.”
Five area store managers donated their Saturdays to work for other employees at the Mantorville store, according to Soland. “I owe five people big favors,” he said.
He remembers Alwes as a good worker. And he will mostly miss her personality. “She was a colorful person, talking, having a good time and making things interesting,” Soland said. “You always knew where she was because you could hear her,” he added.
One of Alwes’ greatest passions was flower gardening, Soland said. “She liked creativity and color,” he said.
Soland said it won’t be easy to replace Alwes, especially in the short labor market most businesses are experiencing right now. He added it’s rare to find someone to work the shift Alwes found she liked.
Funeral services were held at South Zumbro Church in Kasson Saturday afternoon.