The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 22, 2013

David James Hafner "DJ"

— David James Hafner "DJ", of Mankato, MN, formerly of Stevenstown, WI, was lovingly called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, March 18, 2013.   He was born in La Crosse, WI, on March 21, 1985, to David J. and Cyndi (Lesky) Hafner.  He attended Melrose-Mindoro schools, graduating from high school in 2003. He attended UW-La Crosse where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 2008. During his college years, he worked at Menards and BioLife in Onalaska, WI.  

 In his sophomore year of college, he met Adam Zastrow and was invited to Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) where he heard the gospel as presented by Mark Brockberg. It was there he accepted Jesus Christ into his life as his personal Lord and Savior, and from that moment on, David's life changed. He loved the Lord and devoted the rest of the years sharing his passion for the gospel with all those he met. He radiated an aura of grace and love that left an indelible impression on those who had the privilege of knowing him.

 Immediately after college, David became an Intern with Campus Crusade for Christ in the La Crosse and Winona Area colleges.  He had an insatiable passion for leading worship and bringing students together in community. He loved mentoring students, leading bible studies, teaching, and organizing events with the local Cru ministry. His life was about leading students to that all powerful relationship with Christ.

 Last July, David went to Mankato, MN, as a missionary with Cru. He was always inviting friends to his apartment, introducing himself to new people, and organizing hang-outs which helped to grow the depth of the Mankato Cru community.  He was filled with joy whenever he led a student to faith in Jesus. His last couple of weeks were spent planning a campus wide outreach and leading a group of twenty-five students to Panama City Beach, FL, for their annual spring break trip-Big Break. At this conference, David and the students went on the beach and shared the message of Jesus with many different spring breakers. David's friendship, passion, and his laboring for the gospel, will be greatly missed by all.

 David is survived by his parents, Dave and Cyndi, of Stevenstown, WI; his paternal grandfather, Peter Hafner of Onalaska; aunts and uncles, Allan and Patti Lesky and Mick and Jean Lesky, all of La Crosse, Rich Hafner of Onalaska, Ron and Julie Hafner of Minneapolis, Gerard and Marybeth Hafner of Lincoln, Neb., and Marylou (Hafner) and Jon Syvertson of Richland Center, Wis.; many cousins; his roommate, Forest Francis as well as many other special friends; and numerous brothers and sisters in Christ. He was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Anthony Hafner, who died at birth; his paternal grandmother, Aretas Hafner; and his maternal grandparents, Donald Lesky and Lorraine and Raymond Sorenson.

 The Celebration Service will be held on Monday, March 25th, at 11:00 a.m. at First Free Church, 123 Mason St, in Onalaska. Pastor Mark Brockberg will officiate. Burial will take place in Farmington Cemetery, rural Mindoro. Family and friends may call at the church on Sunday from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m., and again on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Memorials may be given to Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru). Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be submitted at