William Jay Loomis
1912 - 2007
"A Flight For Our Dad"
J. (Bill) Loomis was born in 1912 in Concordia, Kansas. His family
of nine moved to New Mexico in 1915, but lost their father, Arthur
Hanks Loomis, in 1919. His mother, Edna Jay (Halleck) Loomis,
taught school, and his oldest brother Lewis Halleck Loomis moved
to Mexico and started working with ASARCO (American Mining and
Technology). For years he continued to send money back to the
homestead in Las Cruces so that his brothers and sisters could
attend college. Bill graduated from New Mexico State in 1933 in
After a short time with the New Mexico Highway Department he
was offered a job with a highway contractor and became a construction
manager. Bill met and married Lorraine Stone Hall in Raton, New
Mexico in 1938. They were happily married for 56 years until Lorraine
preceded him in death in 1992. His daughter Betsy Jean Meerscheidt
preceded him in death in 2004, and his granddaughter Donna Jean
Kennedy preceded him in death in 1998.
Survivors include Daughter Mary Alice, Son William (Bill) Jay
Jr. and wife Melissa. Grandchildren include: Marilynn Morris,
Janette Brunt, Michael Curtin, Cinda Kennedy, Paul Loomis, Jay
Loomis, John Loomis, and Kristine Drake. Great Grandchildren include:
Michael Jay and Melissa Curtin, Mary Terese and Stuart Morris,
Gabriel Drake and Taylor Jaylee Loomis.
During WWII Bill served in Patton's 3rd Army, 71st Division 271st
Engineers as a Captain. He was proud to serve his country as his
ancestors had. They include Lieutenant Thomas Loomis (1714-1792)
in the Lexington Alarm, Captain Isaiah Loomis (1749-1834) soldier
in the American Revolution, Lieutenant General Thomas Loomis (1756-1842)
who served from Lexington to Yorktown and was in the Battle of
Bunker Hill and Captain Romulus (Rome) Hanks (1822-1876) who served
under Grant at Pittsburg Landing in the 15th Iowa Infantry during
the Civil War.
After returning from the war, he bought the Garfield Mercantile
Store and operated it from September 1946 through 1947. Shortly
thereafter he started his journey to get his pilot’s license
with the help of Danny & Melvin McGuire in Hatch, New Mexico.
He returned to highway construction management and eventually
founded and developed Loomis Construction Co. Inc. for 34 years
until he retired. He was a member of the New Mexico Professional
Engineers, and was a member and later an Honorary Lifetime Member
of the Associated Contractors of New Mexico. He was well known
in the industry for smooth pavement and keeping an excellent workforce
by maintaining and displaying his loyalty to the workers that
helped earn him his good reputation.
He was a pilot, owned his own airplane, and flew all over New
Mexico and to Mexico regularly. He was a founder of VFW post 1389
and enjoyed his tenure as Capitan of his powerboat, the "Sweet