Dec. 24, 1931 – Oct. 21, 2017
James R. “Jim” Loomis Sr., who consoled countless numbers of grieving families as a third-generation funeral director, died Saturday at home in Orchard Park after a lengthy illness.
He was 85.
Mr. Loomis was born and raised in South Buffalo, where he would live most of his life. He graduated from School 70, South Park High School, Alfred Agricultural & Technical Institute and the University at Buffalo.
Mr. Loomis was in the Army, and the day after he married the former Marjorie E. Sieg, he was sent to Germany, where he would be stationed. He served as a chaplain’s assistant who played the organ. He was discharged from the Army in 1955 and returned home to the family’s funeral home business that his grandfather founded in 1893 on Seneca Street.
Mr. Loomis spent 68 years operating Loomis, Offers & Loomis Inc., where he emphasized dignity for the deceased and compassion for the grieving families. Many area funeral directors did their apprenticeship under Mr. Loomis.
He played piano, organ and the accordion, often entertaining people with his music at functions and family celebrations. He was a painter, a voracious reader of poetry, biographies and non-fiction. He read the bible several times in its entirety. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hiking, skiing and boating. He was a lifelong dog owner.
Mr. Loomis belonged to numerous organizations, including: the Buffalo Court Royal Order of Jesters; the South Buffalo Community Table; the Hamburg Kiwanis Club; Hamburg VFW 1419; the Hamburg American Legion 527; Western Star Lodge #1184; Buffalo Consistory AASR; Ismailia Temple AAONMS; Seneca Shrine Club; the Hamburg Shrine Club; and the national, New York and Erie Niagara funeral directors associations.
Besides his wife of 63 years, Mr. Loomis is survived by two sons, Greg and Jim Jr.; three daughters, Joanne Ryan, Peggy Hillery, and Jeannine Higgins; a brother, Roy; a sister, Kate Martin; 15 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at Our Lady of Charity Parish, St. Ambrose site, 65 Ridgewood Road.