My brother, Jack, fought the good ﬁght against a terrible illness; pulmonary ﬁbrosis. However early this morning he joined our Dad who lost his own ﬁght to the same “idiopathic” disease. John Martin Loftus was a man who was a hero in the non-traditional sense. He didn’t wage war in the jungles of Vietnam or the sands of Iraq. His battles were internal, and he transformed himself into a Peace Warrior who cared for our mother, Doris, and our handicapped sister, Suzanne, 24/7 at home until they each passed away. Jack was the kind of man who might not be noticed in a crowd. He shined his light on others through his caregiving talents. How many 60year-old men have the skill set and the heart to patiently make meals, do laundry and monitor medications for two women he loved until the end? What man among us has the patience to sit in doctors’ waiting rooms for his two “clients” or slowly assist each of them into church each Sunday morning? Jack was a hero on the caregiver battleﬁeld where few men survive; let alone ﬂourish as family member who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.
At the end of his tour of duty caring for his mom and sister he reenlisted for duty as a staﬀ member at the Cherokee Day Training Center where our sister attended for many years. The Center’s website describes itself as a “dynamic, creative, community minded organization focused on supporting people to create better lives for themselves. If you are energetic, creative, compassionate, and motivated this may be the job for you.” Oh yea! That was the job for Jack! He was not content to stay at home and feel sorry for himself because he had to carry around his breathing machine each day as he drove clients to ﬁeld trips or served as a one-on-one “shadow” to a particularly disabled adult under his care. No, he taught art classes and used the talent he inherited from our mother to create his own artistic masterpieces.
I hope my words do justice to a rather unique man who was an artist and a humble servant to others.
He was a gift to our family and to the many, many people he served right up to the end, Ten days ago Jack was at the Center serving the mentally and physically disabled. Yesterday I told him that I had heard from our sister, Suzanne, who said to tell #1 Brother she was at the Gate waiting for him to join her for a game of dice with our Mom.
God Bless you, Jack
There are no services planned at this time.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Cherokee Training Center in Canton, GA at 133 Univeter Rd, Canton, GA 30114 in memory of Jack.