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Donmicheal "Mike" Loftus

February 1, 1928 - May 29, 2021
Kalamazoo, MI

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Visitation

Saturday, June 12, 2021
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900
Driving Directions

Service

Saturday, June 12, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900
Driving Directions

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

American Rose Society
PO Box 30000
Shreveport, LA 71130
(318) 938-5402
Web Site

Espanola House Adult Foster Care
422 Espanola Ave
Parchment, MI 49004
(269) 220-5095

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Print

Intelligent, hard-working, and dedicated, Donmicheal "Mike" Loftus lived a life rich in family and friends. A humble man who never required the limelight nor sought accolades, Mike found purpose and pride in serving others. Whether providing for his family, serving his country or customers, or calling a game of baseball, Mike humbly gave of his time and talents in hopes of ensuring others' good care. He was a natural salesman who welcomed each stranger as a friend and every day as a gift. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Mike will long be remembered and ever so missed.

1928 continued to ride the decade's roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. The nation celebrated the recent inventions of Penicillin, the iron lung, bubble gum, and the Yo-Yo, as well as Charles Lindbergh's Medal of Honor and Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As the wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Joliet, Illinois, as Frank and Juanita (Nourie) Loftus welcomed their son, Mike, to their family on February 1st... or the 2nd, or the 3rd depending on who you ask.

Mike's earliest days were firmly rooted in family values, hard work, and a willingness to be of service. In 1945, at the age of 16, Mike left high school to join the United States Navy. A proud plankowner who served aboard the USS Juneau (CL-119), Mike safely returned home after his initial service and completed his GED, and then attended Kalamazoo College. He later reenlisted with the Navy during the Korean conflict, assisting with building recruiting centers around the U.S.

While attending a Navy ball, Mike had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Bernice Bradtmueller. Though both were attending the event with other people, they found themselves drawn to one another, and Mike escorted Bernice home following the ball. The couple began to date, fell in love, and married on February 18, 1950 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, officially beginning their more than 50-year adventure together.

In time, Mike and Bernice were blessed to welcome four children to their family. Bill, Tim, Greg, and Diane were quickly the centers of Mike's life. He and Bernice dedicated themselves to creating a loving and supportive home. Mike was not a risk-taker; rather, he made sure he provided for his family, ensuring a stable home. Though he worked long hours, he always had time for family, a good game of catch, and dinner together to hear about everyone's day. As a father, Mike supported all of his children's endeavors. He helped coach and umpire little league, passed along his problem-solving skills, and cheered them on in their sports. Mike challenged his kids in positive ways, encouraging logic and intelligence, and often finding himself in awe of the risks they were willing to take in order to fulfill their dreams and goals.

A natural salesman and hard worker, Mike worked several jobs over his lifetime. He worked at Fuller Transmission for a time and for Sealtest Dairy in the 1960s when his kids were young. His son, Bill, sometimes helped him on his routes, and when the company allowed him to bring home damaged cases of sweets, the neighborhood kids gathered in delight. Mike's main career was as a salesman for an industrial distributor. Coworkers respected Mike for his intelligence. They knew his problem-solving skills were among the very best. He worked with WMU, Eaton, and several other companies on tough projects, solving problems their engineers were previously unable to solve. Mike was known for his exceptional care and dedication, even delivering much-needed parts in the middle of the night to his clients…and a few clients of others. When he turned 62-years-old, Mike was forced from sales into management. He wasn't enthusiastic about the change and, in a true role reversal, he went to his son for advice. After just one year in management, Mike decided it was time to retire.

Mike and Bernice enjoyed the excitement of their bowling leagues and the solace of tending to their rose garden. Mike was well renowned for treating people with respect, especially the kids of the neighborhood. Mike enjoyed reading about history, was a lifelong Lions and Tigers fan, and absolutely loved aviation. Visiting the Air Force Museum, attending RC airplane events, and going to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo as often as possible were some of his favorite things to do. Modest and good humored, Mike always thought it humorous his date of birth was listed wrong on several legal documents, including his birth certificate and military discharge.

Without a doubt, Mike's greatest joy was his family. He was deeply proud of his kids and truly marveled at the privilege of witnessing their accomplishments. Greg teaches stagecraft at Valencia College and has worked with stars like Charlton Heston. Tim is a skilled woodworker and paramedic. Diane shares her dad's logical skillset, programing, and solving internet application issues. He was also tremendously proud of his grandchildren who he encouraged and simply had fun being around.

Mikes story would not be complete without mentioning a long-treasured memory of a particular baseball game. A year after Mike's son, Bill, graduated high school, he managed a senior baseball league at Oakwood Little League. When Bill's team squared up against his Uncle Pat's team, Mike and another of his sons were the umpires. No matter the outcome, with so many Loftus family members involved, a Loftus was going to win! The game became known as the Loftus Game. More great memories were made at the local bowling alley where Mike and Bernice played on leagues together and, as with baseball, competed against family. Mike will long be remembered for his rye smile that reflected his intention to get things done his way along with his contentment with knowing he'd done his best to help others.

Clearly, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Mike's steadfast presence. May we find comfort in knowing that he is at peace and that his legacy lives on in each of the lives he touched. With each challenge we confidently meet, loved one's endeavor we support, problem we creatively solve, rose bush we tend, and ball game we cheer on, we celebrate the many ways Mike gifted each of us. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired everyone who was lucky to know him.

Donmicheal "Mike" Loftus, of Kalamazoo, age 93, died peacefully on May 29, 2021. Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Bernice. Surviving are his children: William (Linda) Loftus, Timothy (Cindy) Loftus, Greg (Conny) Loftus, and Diane Loftus; grandchildren: Jon (Christy) Loftus and Matthew (Doni) Loftus; great-granddaughter: Emma, Mikayla, and Cadence; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. Though Mike wasn't the type to be fussed over, a funeral service will be held at 11 AM Saturday (JUN 12) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Visitation one-hour prior. Interment at Fort Custer National Cemetery 10:30 AM Monday (JUN 14). Visit Mike's personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you may read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to American Rose Society or Espanola House Adult Foster Care.

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