Harold was born to Leo Vestal Loftis and Anna Jewel (Anderson) Loftis on December 1, 1932 in the town of Double springs Tennessee. The town is gone now. When he was only one year old the family moved to Detroit Michigan so his father could find work. His father got a job at U.S. Rubber and the family made a home close by. Many years later Harold’ future wife had a home right across the alley from where he had lived but he was gone from there by then. I am his wife now and we have lived together for 64 years. We also went to the same grade school but at different times. Fate was trying hard to put us together but we weren’t cooperating.
Many years later Harold became a student at Wayne State University. He sang in their choir. He has a beautiful baritone voice. He marched in their marching band and played the baritone horn. He was also in a German band in Galion Ohio. He was studying to be a teacher but after he was attacked by student 3 times by a gun and knives he decided that he would try something else. He said to the guy with the gun “you put that away” the guy did. He said he hadn’t put it away didn’t know what he would have done if he did not put it away.
He was in Wayne’s Air Force ROTC. They started a Civil Air patrol unit In Detroit and that is where I met him. He was so shy that it hurt me look at him. Great big BUT our unit went on a bivouac and he came up to me after it was over and said he was taking me home I told him I already had some to take me home. He said “I have taken care of that “ Wow!! Says myself, now here is a take charge kind of a guy. Two years later, we were married in June 1955. Right after I got out of high school. WE had 5 daughters all within 5 years. One died in infancy. One died in 2014. She was 58 years old.
He had various jobs through the years but he worked the longest at Crown Central Petroleum in Baltimore Md. He was a public speaker with them and traveled all over world teaching oil refinery safety. He was also an elder in the Church of Christ. In Aberdeen Md. And filled in as a preacher whenever he was called to do so. WE lived in Maryland before now and that time we had a home right above the Conowingo Dam in Harford County. Now we live in Essex Md.
From Darlington Md. We moved to Birdsboro Pennsylvania. It was there that I first noticed Harold was having a problem with his memory. We were following the real estate lady to sign the papers for the new house we were buying when he refused to follow her any more saying she told us to get off here. I told him we are following her and she did not get off. I do not know where we are going without following her. After that he kept getting lost. Fortunately I had a truck at the time and we both had cell phones. I was able to track him down and had him follow me home. One night the police had picked him up and told him to stay in the police station because he was driving erratically. The police told me to come and pick him up. When I got there he was outside the building. He said “they can’t make me stay there. “ I haven’t done anything wrong” But he then couldn’t find his car. I remembered that they had picked him up at a 7-11 so I tracked down the 7-11s in the neighborhood and found it.
On the way home we got stopped by the police because we were going too slowly, I had pulled over to tell him he had to keep up with me. All cars look alike in the dark. I explained to the cop why I was going so slow and asked him to tell Harold to keep up with me. Harold said I was going too fast. I told him I was going under the speed limit. Well I got him home. Just creeping along with cars blowing their horns at us. I tried to live with his advancing Alzheimer’s for several years until it just got to be too much work for me. Now he is happy at Lighthouse Senior Living. It so close to home that I can visit him most every day.
October 17, 2019
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