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Patricia Loomis

Patricia "Pat" Loomis

Resident of Arroyo Grande

Patricia "Pat" Loomis passed away Tuesday, July 20, 2010, in Arroyo Grande after a short illness. She was born to Ivan and Christine Loomis in June l920, in San Francisco, Calif. Pat had just celebrated her 90th birthday last month. She grew up with her family in Arroyo Grande. Her family came from pioneer stock; the Loomis family has resided in Arroyo Grande since 1882 and the Jatta's since 1866. Pat graduated from San Jose State University in 1943 with a degree in Journalism, which she put to good use at the San Jose Mercury News. Upon retirement after 40 years she reminisced that she had "never worked a day in her life; it was 40 years of fun."

During her years in San Jose, Pat was an active member of the Santa Clara County Fair Board and enjoyed her involvement with 4-H children. While working with the Mercury News, she wrote a column called "Signposts," which encompassed historical vignettes detailing the lives of pioneers whose surnames provided the titles to numerous streets in San Jose. These columns were eventually published in book form. She also wrote a book called "A Walk Through the Past," which highlighted the Overland Pioneers and other San Jose residents. Her love of history gave her reason to join organizations like the Argonauts who would travel as a group to the Oregon Trail and other routes of the Overland Pioneers. She also belonged to the Oregon-California Trails Association.

Pat returned to her original hometown of Arroyo Grande in 2007. Her family had grown considerably during the years she was in San Jose and they were delighted to have her return. Pat continued to pursue her interest in history and has recently authored two books: "Arroyo Grande Cemetery" and "Streets of Arroyo Grande." Pat comes from a large family that honors its roots by the collection and documentation of local history and helps to preserve that history for the benefit of everyone. She; her brother, John Loomis; and cousin, Gordon Bennett, have contributed to the collecting of documents, photos, newspaper clippings, oral histories, maps, book and a few tall tales. Four years ago, San Jose's History Park dedicated one of its streets Loomis Lane and honored her for her contributions as history writer for the San Jose Mercury News.In 2006, the South County Historical Society named a resource center after her in the Village of Arroyo Grande called the Patricia Loomis History Library and Resource Center and in 2010 named her Historian of the Year.

Her passions were family, stream fishing for trout, researching history, making jam and giving to others. The bumper sticker on her car read "Fish tremble at the mention of my name." Pat was fun-loving, generous and encouraging. She always had a smile on her face and a "quick wit" about her. She was nonjudgmental, loved by all ages, was always interested in others and told the best stories. Pat stayed active until her death.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, as well as sister, Peggy David; brother-in-law, Andrew David; brother, John; and longtime friend, Genie McClay, who was like a sister to her. She is survived by brother, Richard, and his wife, Bobbie, as well as sisters-in-law, Nancy and Lindy. She has many cousins, nieces and nephews as well as grandnieces and grandnephews that adored her and found her a delight to be with. She was known to all as "Aunt Pat."

A celebration of her life reception will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers you are invited to make a donation to the charity of your choice in her name.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on July 27, 2010
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