George S. Loftus (Jeff), 81, passed away at Sierra Vista Health Care Center March 1, 2020. He was born February 10, 1939, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 1966, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in English and Journalism, and then received a Master’s Degree in Cinematography at the University of Southern California, the Air Force having sent him there.
Schooling completed, in 1971 he was deployed to Vietnam (Da Nang) where he was Captain of a 40-man photo unit and was General’s Aide. George was in the Navy for two years, the Air Force six, and was honorably discharged in 1972, having ceased to want everything he thought he wanted from the service.
Wanting more adventure and challenge, he struck out on his own, counting himself a “free man”. So began his itinerant lifestyle, living and working from coast to coast for others, but especially for himself, starting a landscape business in Grass Valley, California, and a moving company called “Shamrock,” in Golden, Colorado.
Southwestern New Mexico beckoned; it’s beauty touching an unfamiliar chord in his heart. On Deming’s vast desert he stood some five miles out, envisioning domes over underground homes, like-minded souls cooking over fire pits. Yes! An intentional community – the greatest challenge yet! He began building. They came. After ten years the creative and rugged band (due to no water or electricity) amicably disbanded.
George then discovered Truth or Consequences. Loving the friendliness, the vibrant art community, the echo of hippie days, he settled. Especially loving the Black Cat Books and Coffee, he decided to found Black Cat Poets, a group that meets monthly to read their original works. Terry Blanchard (deceased) joined him in its founding and it is still going strong today.
His poetry brought people to tears with laughter, and then dropped pearls of wisdom. George rejoiced that T-or-C was fertile ground for poetry and rejoiced even more that it was fertile ground for his years of astrological studies to bear fruit.
Discovering astrology shortly after leaving the military, he became ever more passionate about it. He could have made money here, but insisted on giving one– to two-hour consultations, accepting only a sandwich and coffee. Friends, acquaintances – even strangers – trusted him with their most private issues.
He was noted for his spirited solo dancing, leaping high as Basque dancers do, he regaled us during lunch at the senior meal site, also at Fiesta, the Brewery, and Grapes.
George is survived by his loving wife of 11 years, Beverly Manley-Loftus of T-or-C; beloved son, Thad and his mother Doris Loftus, still a dear member of the Loftus family and George’s lifelong friend of Austin, Texas; and his siblings: Mary Kraft and Catherine Lunzer of Fort Meyers, Florida, Tom Loftus and John Loftus (and wife Gail) of Minneapolis, MN. Here in T-or-C, he left behind many close friends.
Always, George had praised the VA for their excellent, warmly personal care, especially at Ben Archer and at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque. Thanks to the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center for their kind and patient care. Undying gratitude goes to Ambercare Home Hospice and to Sierra Health Care Center for unflagging, heartfelt care.
Cremation was done by Baca’s Funeral Chapel in Las Cruces. As per his wishes, a Memorial Mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Truth or Consequences, date undetermined. The family will give him a military, eleven-gun funeral near his birthplace in Minnesota at an undecided date this summer.