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William Jay Loomis

1912 - 2007

"A Flight For Our Dad"

 


illiam 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 Mechanical Engineering.

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 Lorraine."

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