Cover photo for Leola Eloise Loftin's Obituary
Leola Eloise Loftin Profile Photo

Leola Eloise Loftin

September 14, 1918 — April 28, 2024

Natchitoches, LA

Leola Eloise Loftin

 Leola Eloise Hunter Loftin, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, entered the eternal tomorrow on April 28th at her home in Natchitoches. Visitation will be on Saturday, May 4th at Liberty Baptist Church near Martin at 1:00 PM, followed by a memorial service at 2:00. Interment, TBD, will be at Clear Springs Cemetery next to her husband Bill. 

Leola was born to Julia Adkins and Charley Leon Hunter, on September 14, 1918, in Coushatta, Louisiana. After her father died in 1925, she lived with her mother and sisters in Coushatta. Her grandparents, Davis and Lulu Adkins, lived nearby in the Liberty community. Her childhood was spent in the company of many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Leola graduated from Martin High School in 1935 and was the last living graduate of that class. She then attended the Louisiana Normal College, which became Northwestern State University.

Leola started her teaching career at Poland High School in Rapides Parish in 1938-39 and taught there for 5 years. She married William “Bill” Loftin on January 2, 1942.

While Bill was in the army in Europe, Leola worked in South Carolina at Fort Jackson as a clerk, and later at the Naval Air Station Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee as a civil service librarian. After WWII, both she and Bill attended LSU where they each earned a Master's degree.

They then returned to Red River Parish where they raised their five children near Martin. The family attended Liberty Baptist Church for many years, and Leola into her 90s. 

At Martin High School, Leola taught Civics, Louisiana History, and American History (mainly), and other classes as needed - yikes! Chemistry. Many of her students have kept in touch with her and would let her know how fondly they remember her.

In the 1951-52 school year Leola won the Modisette Award at Hall Summit High School for the outstanding high school library program in the state of Louisiana. In 1959, Leola was initiated into Delta Kappa Gamma, Natchitoches chapter. In 1976, she became a charter member of Beta Omicron, the Red River chapter.

During the 50's, Bill and Leola developed and operated the Red River Game Bird Farm, raising quail for commercial and hunting purposes.  At the same time, they also continued teaching at Martin.

When Bill was selected to be the Superintendent of Red River Parish Schools, Leola accepted a vacancy in the Russell Library at Northwestern working in several departments, and retiring as Acquisitions Librarian at the Watson Library at Northwestern in 1977, the same year Bill retired.

Soon after retiring, Leola and Bill purchased a remodeled fishing camp house on Sibley Lake, where they enjoyed the natural beauty with friends and relatives. After Bill passed away in 2006 at age 92, Leola continued life on the lake. Over the years, the lake house became a family meeting place and has provided many great memories. 

When Bill passed, Leola, with a great appreciation of education, started the William H. Loftin Basketball Scholarship at Northwestern for student-athletes. The scholarship remains active today. 

Her passion for genealogy led her to contribute articles to the book, Red River Parish, Our Heritage, which she also enjoyed reading after it was published. For the project, “Triumph over Tragedy, the 80th anniversary of the Great Depression and the New Deal Era in North Louisiana, Eye 20 Creative Corridor”, she was selected to be an elder of Red River Parish and spoke of what it was like living through the Great Depression. 

Leola enjoyed china painting and watercolor painting, including week-long retreats with friends to enhance her skills. With cousins and sisters, she roamed woods and fields identifying wildflowers. Her extensive book collection contained many on history, genealogy, wildflowers, and birds. Also, her storytelling was a great source of information about family and relatives and growing up in Red River Parish.

Preceded in death are her parents, Charley Leon Hunter and Julia Adkins Hunter Bamburg, her stepfather, Lemuel Melton Bamburg, aka “Snip”, her husband of 64 years, William “Bill” Loftin, sisters, Joy Hunter Brewer Faucett, and Evelyn Hunter Nelson, and brother Donald Bamburg. Survivors include her brother, John Perry Bamburg, and wife O'Dean. Children are Faye and Larry Goode, Bill “Buddy” and Barbara Loftin, Richard and Sue Loftin, Nell Loftin and Mike Jones, and John Loftin. Grandchildren are Deraux and Dela LeDoux, son Shawn; Lebraix LeDoux; Laura and Matt Warden, their children, Jack and Dinah; Thomas Loftin and Victoria; David Loftin; Julia and Jason Cooper, their children, Kaylin, Ethan and Owen; Jennifer Loftin; Clay and Amy Loftin, their children, Olivia and Lillian; and Sophie Jones. Additionally, Grandchildren Chris and Lyle Ellenwood, her children, Spencer Croat and Brook Croat; Ross and Jessica Goode, and their children, Tyler and Bryce. Also left with memories are numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and friends.

The family wishes to acknowledge Letreice Beasley and Twan McDowell with great appreciation for their excellent care of Mom. Many thanks to the Heart of Hospice for their support.

Leola always said she had a wonderful life. To the many lives she touched, she will be remembered as a positive inspiration and uplifting influence.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to William H Loftin Basketball Scholarship, at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA; Briarwood Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, 216 Caroline Dorman Rd., Saline, La. 71070, briarwoodnp.org

 

Briarwood Nature Preserve

216 caroline dormon road saline, louisiana 71070

briarwoodnp.org

.; Clear Springs Cemetery, David Jones 3517 Hwy 155 Coushatta, LA 71019; Liberty Cemetery c/o Jerry Cannon, 1504 Hwy. 787, Coushatta, LA 71019

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, May 4, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Liberty Baptist Church

, Martin, LA 71019

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 4, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Liberty Baptist Church

, Martin, LA 71019

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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