Judge Harry Loftis (1921-2003)
Judge Harry Loftis was a founding partner in the law firm of Loftis & Roberts, which eventually became known as Roberts & Roberts Law Firm. Judge Loftis was born in Brownsboro on July 22, 1921 and raised in Tyler, where he graduated from Tyler High School. He earned degrees from Tyler Junior College and The University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Army Air Corps during World War II and served in France, England, and Italy. He flew glider missions behind enemy lines and was awarded several medals and citations. In January 2003, Judge Loftis shared his wartime accounts as part of a Library of Congress project to preserve the stories of veterans from World War II.
For 13 years, he served as the District Attorney and then as the County Judge for Smith County, Texas. In 1975, Judge Loftis received the T.B. Butler Award which recognizes outstanding contributions in leadership, service or community improvements. He was Tyler Junior College’s Outstanding Ex-Student of 1964 and received the Tyler Jaycees top honor, the Earl Story Award, in 1952. He was a president or board member of Tyler Jaycees, Texas Junior Bar Association, Smith County Red Cross, Tyler YMCA, Kiwanis Club, Strutters, Mother Frances Advisory Board, Tuberculosis Association, Chamber of Commerce and Texas Rose Festival Association. He was a director and chairman of the board of old Rose Capital Bank and a lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International.
As chairman of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce’s education committee, he worked diligently to make Texas Eastern University (now The University of Texas at Tyler) a reality. He was a member of Marvin Methodist Church, where he served on Board of Stewards and taught the Friendly Bible Class. Judge Loftis died December 9, 2003 in Tyler. He will always be remembered as a good husband, a good father, and a good man.