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JAMES RICHARD LOOMIS

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LOOMIS, JAMES RICHARD "The Train Man" February 14, 1932 to November 3, 2012 James Richard Loomis "Jim" passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on Saturday, November 3, 2012, after a short battle with Liver Cancer. He was eighty years old. He was born on February 14, 1932 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Jim enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school and did his training at the old Naval Training Center (NTC) here in San Diego. After he completed his enlistment, he decided to move to San Diego where he met and married his first wife, Janice Powers at Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Speech a few years after marrying Janice. He went on to hold a variety of jobs over the years and he retired from the Federal Government as an Accountant in the Civil Service in 1995. Jim and Janice had a heart for hospitality and invited a girl from Denmark, Signe, to come and live with them and their daughter, Stephanie, for a year in 1976. A year later, they invited a young man from Iran, Hamid, to come and live with them and he stayed with them for six years. Hamid's older brother and cousin also stayed with them intermittently as they finished high school and after graduation. They also spiritually adopted a young woman, Ann and her husband, and later on their two children, into the family. After his first wife, Janice died in 2003, he married Gloria Roetter the following year. They had six and a half years together until she passed away in 2010. He then moved in with his daughter, Stephanie, who took care of him until he died. Jim loved his family very much and he had a variety of interests. He was very involved in his church all of his life and his relationship with God was very important to him. After he retired, he participated in the Match 2 program, a prison mentoring ministry, and was also a chaplain at Grossmont Hospital for a several years. His biggest passions, however, were anything to do with model railroading and World War II. He would build accessories for his model railroad layout from scratch, and paint them so they looked like they were weathered and had been out in the elements. He also built World War II ships and airplanes from model kits and painted them as well. Each piece he made was a labor of love and truly was a work of art. Jim is survived by his daughter, Stephanie, the three Iranian sons and the Danish daughter who they had unofficially adopted into the family: Hamid and his wife Soraya, her daughter Shamim and their son, David; Saied and his wife Carla; and Mahmood; his Danish daughter, Signe and her husband, Jorn and their two sons Mikkel and Henrik; his spiritual daughter: Ann and her husband, Chris and their two children, Christina and Jonathan. He is also survived by his stepchildren from Gloria: Kathy and her husband, Carl; Charlie and his wife, Ann; and James and his wife, Kelly. He also has 11 step-grandchildren and four step-great-grand-children and several nieces and nephews from his two younger sisters. There are also other families whose children looked up to him as a mentor and as a father figure. Dad, we all love you very much and you will truly be missed. You had a smile that could brighten up the whole room and a laugh that could be heard throughout the whole house. You had a sense of humor that made everyone laugh and your love of people made everyone feel special in your presence. I, Stephanie, always marveled how cats and dogs that didn't know you, but they would come up to you and want you to pet them. You were truly a special man and I am honored that I got the chance to take care of you the last two years of your life. I am very thankful that God picked you to be my Daddy. I want to thank all the caregivers, especially Tammy and Pauli that took care of him during his time with me. You filled his life with fun and happy memories and made him a part of your families. I cannot thank you enough for all you did for him. I also want to thank Charlie and Kathy for all your hard work and sacrifice in taking care of him as well and everyone else that participated in his care over the last two years. I could not have done it without all of you. There will be a memorial service celebrating his life at Good Samaritian Episcopal Church, located at 4321 Eastgate Mall in San Diego, on Saturday, February 16th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a reception following. A light lunch will be served at the reception.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 16, 2013
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