James “Jim” Loomer – Republic Mitchell
James “Jim” Loomer, 90, of Mitchell, SD, died Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at his home in Mitchell hospice care. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 14 at Alexandria United Methodist Church. Interment will be at Green Hill Cemetery in Alexandria. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 13 at the Bittner Funeral Chapel with Masonic rites at 2:30 p.m. Arrangements of the Bittner Funeral Chapel.
James Loomer was born June 17, 1931 in Mitchell, SD to Gilbert and Marion (Montgomery) Loomer. Jim married Marlys (Haney) in Watertown, SD on June 22, 1958. They were blessed to enjoy 54 years of marriage. To this union were born two boys: Todd (Karin) Loomer of Alexandria, SD, and Kent (Becci) Loomer of Harrodsburg, KY.
Jim graduated from Alexandria High School in 1949 and received a Bachelor of Arts from South Dakota State College at Brookings in 1953. He entered the United States Army and served as a lieutenant in the infantry until 1955, date he was honorably discharged. He joined the South Dakota National Guard in 1956 and served until 1962. He was the first commanding officer of the 147th Infantry Company in Salem, SD, which later became an artillery unit.
Jim owned and operated Montgomery’s Furniture in Mitchell and Alexandria until his death. Jim and his brother, George, had stores over the years in Howard, SD; Madison, SD; Arlington, SD; and Sioux Falls, SD. In 1888, Jim’s grandfather, GH Montgomery, started Montgomery’s Furniture in Alexandria. Jim liked to point out that Montgomery’s Furniture predates the state of South Dakota. Jim was also the owner of Montgomery Funeral Home, active in Alexandria until 1983.
Jim was active in The United Methodist Church in Alexandria and also served on the Dakotas United Methodist Conference Board for ten years. He also served on the Dakota Wesleyan University Board of Trustees for ten years, the Mitchell Methodist Hospital Board of Trustees for six years, and the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Board of Trustees for four years. . He was a member of the American Legion Post 41 for many years. Jim joined the Masonic Temple in 1953 and was an active Shriner for 69 years, and he also belonged to the Scottish Rite. In 2019, Jim was named “Honorary Circus President” of the Corn Palace Shrine Club in recognition of his many years of service to the circus.
Jim enjoyed many activities, including sports and pheasant, goose and deer hunting. He not only enjoyed playing golf until he was 90, but also went skydiving for the first time when he was 88. However, his true love was to fly. He was an active pilot for 47 years and held an instrument flight certificate in addition to his private pilot license. He owned his own plane, which he used for business and pleasure flights.
Jim and Marlys enjoyed traveling both in the United States and abroad. They were able to enjoy many cruises together. After Marlys was called “Home”, Jim traveled with his good friend Joe Vorderbruggen. Jim and Joe have visited many interesting places including Ireland, Germany, Rome, the Holy Land, Africa, London, Paris, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Jim and Joe were looking forward to their annual golf trip to Arizona in February.
Another great love of Jim and Marlys was spending time at their cabin at Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills. In their 41 years of enjoying the cabin, they both said it was “like a little piece of heaven.” They also enjoyed spending time with their four grandchildren.
Jim is survived by his sons, Todd (Karin) Loomer of Alexandria, SD, and Kent (Becci) Loomer of Harrodsburg, KY, and his grandchildren, Knacey (Bogdan) Ghita, Joanah Loomer, Amelia Loomer and Melina Loomer .
He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, George.