Eldon "Al" Loomis, 91, of Great Falls, a retired lumberman, died of natural causes Thursday, June 14, at home.
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Viewing is 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel, with funeral service immediately following at 3 p.m. Burial to follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Eldon "Al" Loomis was born on May 4, 1921, to the Sun River Valley pioneer family of Esther (Strasberger) and George Loomis of Simms. Al was one of five children, and his mother died at an early age. That fact and hard work helped forge his independent character. As a teenager, he cowboyed on the Floweree Ranch (now Broken-O). He often spoke of range riding and driving cattle from the Sun River north to Shelby cross-country.
Al met, courted, and married the prettiest girl (in Dad's words) in the Sun River Valley, Mildred "Milly" Green. They had two sons, Gerald "Jerry" Eldon Loomis and Larry Bart Loomis of Great Falls.
During WWII, he served with the US Coast Guard near Tillamook, Ore. He enjoyed the experience, especially boxing, the coastal area and using his culinary skills.
Al was truly a Jack-of-all-trades guy who did many things well. His lifetime project was building and maintaining his house. The house was built one step at a time, as money allowed, to avoid a dreaded mortgage. He was a very thrifty man, an original recycler, using things until beyond any use. He always said, "If you can't eat it or wear it, you don't need it."
He worked for General Mills in Great Falls a short time before becoming a yard man for Grogan Robinson Lumber Company. He soon moved up into sales at the main store. He moved to the west side yard and took over management there until retirement.
He also gave his time to helping others. In his spare time, he drove combine and grain trucks for his brother-in-law. He helped remodel his in-laws' home, built a go-kart for the boys, and constructed the family cabin west of Augusta.
He enjoyed the outdoors by fishing and hunting with the boys. He always had a garden, so the family had plenty of fresh produce and a freezer full of wild meat.
He is survived by sons Jerry (Judy) Loomis and Larry (Leah) Loomis; grandchildren Amy Jackson, Monica Loomis, Lindsay (Edmond) Lowe, and Robert Loomis; great-grandchildren Neva Lowe and Alec Jackson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife Milly; sisters Eleanor Lee and Helen Preston; brothers George Loomis and Jim Loomis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Peace Hospice, 1101 26th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405.
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 17, 2012