Tweeter's founder to be remembered Friday

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Craig Allen "Tweeter" Tvedte

Craig Allen "Tweeter" Tvedte will be remembered by many as the founder of Tweeter's, an Okoboji bar and grill known for its Hawkeye memorabilia.

But friends who knew the longtime Lakes area resident say he liked the title of grandpa even more.

A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the Camp Foster Chapel for Tvedte. A memorial visitation will be held Thursday from 4-6 p.m. at the Schuchert Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. Tvedte passed away at his home on Thursday, Sept. 27.

He is survived by his son, Rob Tvedte, and his wife, Tracy, of Spirit Lake. He had two grandchildren, Brock and Josie.

"He just loved his son and daughter-in-law and those two grandkids," said longtime friend and golfing buddy Dean Hummel of Spirit Lake. "They just took over his life."

Fred Dowden saw Tvedte begin his career in the area bar and grill business and considered him a close, personal friend. He used the word "devoted" to describe Tvedte's approach to family.

"He spent a lot of time with them, and that, I'm sure, will be very difficult for Rob as he remembers his dad," Dowden said. "Brock and Josie are going to always remember him, I'm sure."

The family says Tvedte enjoyed watching Brock play football, watching Josie dance and taking his trips with his dog, Maggie. He enjoyed spending his spare time fishing, golfing or playing cards with his friends as well. His sports passions included the Minnesota Vikings and -- of course -- the Iowa Hawkeyes. Autographed Hawkeye posters and memorabilia lined the walls of Tweeter's.

Craig and his wife, Sevilla, established the bar and grill a year after they were married, in 1971. The couple retired in July 2007. Sevilla Tvedte passed on July 6 -- nine days before the couple's 41st anniversary.

Most folks got to know Tvedte by greeting him at his single stool at the end of the bar.

"If you went in there at night and the last 15 or 20 years that he had it, he was sitting there," Hummel said. "He kind of perched there and he could see the kitchen. Of course, the help had to go right by him. He kept his eye on things."

Dowden said customers were drawn to Tweeter's because of Tvedte's sense of humor and friendly personality. He had a great rapport with his clientele and knew everybody who walked into the bar, according to the longtime realtor.

"It had been a bar for a number of years, but it had never been successful until he got a hold of it," Dowden recalled. "Then he ran it and it was a success."

Hummel remembers his authenticity.

"What you see is what you get," Hummel said. "He wasn't trying to put on a front for people. He'd just visit with people. He wasn't presumptuous at all."

Hummel recalls meeting academy-award winning actor Clint Eastwood during a golf outing with Tvedte at the Pebble Beach course in California. He remembers another celebrity outing at Brooks National Golf Club in Okoboji.

Hummel, a Cyclone fan, shared a golf cart with longtime Iowa State men's basketball coach Johnny Orr. Tvedte partnered with longtime University of Iowa athletic director Chalmers "Bump" Elliott.

"He was a honest friend and, I thought, a very good businessman who took good care of his business and had a loving family," Hummel said. "That's about all a guy can do, isn't it?"

In addition to Rob Tvedte and family, "Tweeter" is survived by his step-mother, Virginia Tvedte of Phoenix; two half-sisters, Marjorie Rasper, and her husband, Brian, of Phoenix; and Linda Schneider, and her husband, Alan, of Phoenix.

He also is remembered by special friends, Howard Croner of Estherville, Jeff and Rosemarie Croner of Estherville and Brian and Annette Croner of Estherville; many aunts and uncles; and many nieces and nephews.

"He'll be sorely missed by his many, many friends," Dowden said. "He died too early and too young."

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