Dr. Gene Loftis

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Dr. Gene Loftis

Dr. Gene A. Loftis, 84, of Cape Girardeau passed from death to eternal life at Missouri Veterans Home Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, after a long battle with lymphoma and Parkinson's disease.

He was born Aug. 27, 1928, in Ada, Okla., to Marroll F. and Ruth Gladys Sterling Loftis. Gene graduated from Lorenzo High School in Lorenzo, Texas.

In 1946 at age 17, he joined the U.S. Navy Seabees, serving in the South Pacific.

He and Delma J. Loftis met and married Dec. 22, 1950, while attending East Central University in Ada, Okla.

Gene received a bachelor's of science in education in 1952 from East Central University. He received a master's in education and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Okla.

He taught business in Oklahoma City Public Schools from 1953 to 1957. From 1957 to 1967 he served as an associate professor at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla.

Gene moved to Cape Girardeau in 1967 as head of department, professor of business administration and business education at Southeast Missouri State University. From 1970 to 1976 he served as chairman of the division of practical and fine arts, head of the department and professor of business administration and business education.

He was the first dean of the College of Business, professor of business education at Southeast from 1976 to 1982. He then returned to the classroom and served as professor of business education and office administration.

Gene was a member of Bethany Baptist Church. Throughout his life he taught Sunday school classes for boys and men of all ages. He was an ordained deacon since the age of 32. His greatest joy was distributing Bibles through the Gideon Ministry. After his retirement, Gene served as a missionary teaching business at a college in China, and went to Brazil to help build two churches. Gene believed the greatest thing a Christian can do is tell a lost person the good news of Jesus Christ.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Delma of Cape Girardeau; two daughters, Pamela (Jim) Lowes of Edmond and Jonalyn (Parker) Zimmerman of Springfield, Mo.; a son, Randall (Robin) Loftis of Fort Worth, Texas; six grandchildren, Janelle (Soni) Castillo of Joplin, Mo., Patrice Lowes of Oklahoma City, Ryan (Amy) Zimmerman of Dallas, Texas, Lauren (Alex) Skelton of Jackson and Allison and Jared Loftis of Fort Worth; three great-grandchildren, Loralie and Ethan Castillo, and Everett Skelton; two brothers, Walter (Joan) Loftis of Reedley, Calif., and Don (Judy) Loftis of Fort Worth; and a sister, Pat (Ben) Herrell of Fort Smith, Ark.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Bob Loftis.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Bethany Baptist Church, with Dr. Shawn Wasson officiating. Burial will be in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield, Mo., with full military rites conducted by the Missouri Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Siteman Cancer Center, the Southeast Health Cancer Center, Parkinson's disease research, the Missouri Veterans Home or Bethany Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.