REMEMBERING JUDGE HARRY LOFTIS -- (Extensions of Remarks - January 21, 2004)
HON. RALPH M. HALL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2004
Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I am honored today to pay tribute to an outstanding public servant, a wonderful family man, and good friend who devoted so much time and energy to the community of Tyler, Texas-Judge Harry Loftis, who died on December 9, 2003.
Judge Loftis spent thirteen years as a district attorney and county judge. Raised in Tyler, Texas, he earned degrees at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, and flew glider missions in France, England, and Italy. His bravery earned him several medals and citations. The Library of Congress is privileged to have his wartime accounts on file as part of the World War II veterans project.
Judge Loftis was also a longtime supporter of area institutions of higher education. He was a devoted trustee of Tyler Junior College, and was recognized throughout his term in office with several accolades including the T.B. Butler Award, the Outstanding Ex-Student Award, and the Earl Story Award. He was also a leading advocate for the creation of Texas Eastern University (now the University of Texas at Tyler).
While Judge Loftis's work in higher education was impressive, he was also a tireless community booster. He was a president or board member of the Tyler Jaycees, Texas Junior Bar Association, Smith County Red Cross, Tyler YMCA, Kiwanis Club, Strutters, Mother Francis Advisory Board, Tuberculosis Association, Chamber of Commerce, and the Texas Rose Festival Association. He was also a lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International and served on the Board of Stewards at Marvin United Methodist Church.
Judge Loftis is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret Ann Loftis; sons and daughters-in-law, Harry Lee and Charisa Loftis, Michael George and Jenny Loftis; daughter and son-in-law Mollie Ann and Robert Halpin; and ten grandchildren.
Judge Loftis will be long remembered as a devoted public servant, and the community of Tyler will miss his unwavering commitment to serve others. On behalf of his many friends and fans, I want to take this opportunity in the House of Representatives to pay our last respects to this dedicated public servant and outstanding American-Judge Harry Loftis.