A private graveside service for J. B. Loftis, 85, was held on July 27 in Woodlake. He passed away at his home in Woodlake on July 22 with his wife and children by his side.

He was born to Jesse and Amy Loftis on Dec. 5, 1918 in Marion, Ky. He was married to his wife, Helen, for 58 wonderful years. In an era where hard work was a necessity, he was the epitome of a true hero. When his father became terminally ill, he dropped out of school in the sixth grade and began working to support his family. He rose to this responsibility and created within himself an incredible work ethic, which became very evident as the years passed. For those of us blessed enough to learn from him, the life lessons were abundant and each of us has, through the years, applied these lessons over and over. He was a pillar of strength to so many people and even in his last days he amazed us with his will power and his ability to hold onto dignity as death approached.

God blessed us with a husband, he and grandpa who left an undeniable mark on our lives, and his legacy will always live on in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His devotion to our mom was beautiful to witness, and she is so very grateful for the many years they shared together, loving each other with all their hearts.

He served in the US Navy during World War II as a sailor aboard an LST. Upon his return, he and Helen were married in Morganfield, Ky. in 1946. They moved to Woodlake in 1947 where he began his career as a carpenter. He worked for Dick Edminston Construction and then for Bill Andrews Construction where he eventually retired.

His reputation as a skilled craftsman in cabinetry and woodwork soon spread throughout Tulare County. This was a source of great satisfaction for him through the years.

We are extremely proud to say that his life and work touched so many people during his 85 years and those people in turn touched him. In honor of our father, the family is putting together a memory book.

Anyone who would like to share a special memory may do so by sending a written message to the Loftis Family, 599 W. Mt. View, Woodlake, CA 93286. Even though he is gone from our lives for a while, we find comfort in knowing the time will come when we will all be together again. We love you Daddy.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; five children, Donnie (Sam) Carr of Colorado, Brenda (Charlie) Dodd of Exeter, Sheryl Loftis of Tenn., Susie (Dan) Qualls of Arizona, Billy Loftis of Woodlake; nine grandchildren, Lisa Carr, Jason Carr and wife Cassie, Darrell Dodd and wife April, Ricky and Ryan Souza, Tyson and Kaila Qualls, Monica and Justin Loftis; two great-grandchildren, Zoe and Zachary Dodd; four sisters, Christine, Daisy, Norma Jean and Margaret; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family welcomes expressions of sympathy which may be mailed to the Loftis Family, 599 W. Mt. View, Woodlake, CA 93286. Online condolences may be sent to www.smithfamilychapel.com. Arrangements were under the direction of Smith Family Chapel of Exeter.

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