Many individuals in Sedalia lost a valued and close friend with the death of Steve Loftus on Saturday, July 11. Loftus was 59.
Although Loftus left Sedalia following his graduation from Smith-Cotton High School in 1979 to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia, Loftus and his family remained ardent supporters of the Sedalia School District 200.
In October 2019, ground was broken on the Loftus Early Childhood Center named in honor of Loftus’ parents, the late Richard and Mary Anna Loftus. The facility is under construction on the grounds of Smith-Cotton High School. The Co-op provides free services for children with disabilities and education to parents through the Parents As Teachers Program for the Sedalia 200, Green Ridge R-VIII, La Monte R-IV, Pettis County R-V (Northwest), Smithton R-IV and Pettis County R-XII (Dresden) school districts.
The Loftus Center is just one of the countless contributions that can be attributed to Loftus and his family, according to long-time friend state Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia.
“Steve was a loyal friend and dedicated family man,” Pollitt said via text Tuesday morning. “He had a heart for giving back to the community, especially the Sedalia School District.
“There were a number of projects he was associated with but refused to accept credit for those projects,” Pollitt noted. “He was a good friend full of energy and ideas. My heart is broken and I miss him already.”
Like Pollitt, Kyle Herrick, another longtime friend and business associate of Loftus, said many will miss Loftus and his willingness to help others.
Herrick noted the death of Loftus is “a surprise and shock to hear the news for all of us in the Sedalia community.
“Steve was a very special person who never met a stranger and would do anything for anyone even if it was the first time you met him,” Herrick commented. “When Steve would walk into a room you could feel the energy.
“He was such a giving person and was not only a great business mind in Dallas but was very giving to the Sedalia community,” Herrick continued. “He made big things happen but was very humble and quietly worked behind the scene to help so many. There is only one Steve Loftus in the world and he will be missed by many.”
Following his graduation from MU where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, Loftus moved to Dallas in 1983.
According to his obituary, Loftus was a longtime business owner and operator. He married Teresa Marie Dahlhauser. He is survived by his wife of 31 years and their children, Joseph, Richard, Reagan and Jack. Loftus had five brothers, five sisters, and many other family members and friends.
Loftus was preceded in death by his sister, Ann Marie Pair, and his parents, Richard and Mary Anna Loftus.
It was from their parents that Loftus and his siblings developed their understanding of the importance of education and the desire to give back.
“We are both proud and honored to be here today representing our family,” Dr. Dan Loftus, Steve’s brother, said during his remarks at the Co-op groundbreaking. “Our parents knew the value and importance of education and they learned these things from you – the people of Sedalia.”
Sedalia 200 Superintendent Steve Triplett released the following statement on behalf of the district: “We express our most sincere condolences to the family of Steve Loftus on his recent passing. Steve was a proud graduate of Smith-Cotton High School who loved Sedalia and his family’s connections with the community. He was a larger-than-life personality who supported all of our district students, from the football program to scholars who he helped travel to explore higher-level colleges and universities. It is so disappointing that he won’t get to see the completion of the Loftus Early Childhood Center, which is named in tribute to his parents. Steve set a positive example for our students, showing pride in his school and community and investing in the future of both.”
A funeral mass is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas. Interment will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 17 at Crown Hill Cemetery in Sedalia.
Arrangements are under the direction of Turrentine Jackson Morrow in Allen, Texas and Heckart Funeral Home in Sedalia.