Longtime Tyler Community Leader Dies - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/10/03 - Tyler

Longtime Tyler Community Leader Dies

Judge Harry Loftis told Channel 7 in 1997: "I first felt like I was spared for a reason -- that I was supposed to do what I could for good things in life."

Harry Loftis survived World War II -- four brave glider missions in Europe. He came back to East Texas determined to build a meaningful life, and friends say to help. Loftis was East Texan of the Week in 1997, interviewed by Joan Hallmark.

"I feel that I am one of the more fortunate people who ever lived. I have so many friends, people that have been so good to me," he said.

Randy Roberts and Harry Loftis joined together as law partners after Loftis served as Smith County District Attorney and county judge.

"There will always be community leaders. I hope there will always be public servants like Harry Loftis."

Among his many gifts to East Texas, Loftis served Tyler Junior College as a trustee, and was instrumental in bringing to Tyler, the college that would become UT Tyler. But despite handling cases, and handling his community commitments, Randy says he always took time to live life.

And had no problems retiring a few years ago.

"As we sit here today, we still have an in-box for him here at the office, and when I heard that he passed away, I went over to his home and I carried with me all his mail -- because we still get mail for Harry Loftis at the office."

Harry Loftis leaves behind his wife, Margaret Ann, two sons, and a daughter... and many grateful friends.

"If you ask me to use words that would embody Harry Loftis, it would be first and foremost 'public servant', 'honorable', 'mentor', 'respected'... and a good father.

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