Obituary of Larry James Loofboro (1946 – 2022) – Kalamazoo, MI

Larry James Loofboro, Sr. found peace on Thursday, January 6, 2022, after months struggling with several health issues, including diabetes, kidneys and congestive heart failure, at his home with his family surrounded by his bedside. He was born September 26, 1946 in Kalamazoo, MI, son of Wynan and Shirley (Zimmerman) Loofboro and has lived in the area all his life, except for three years his family lived in Orangeville, MI. His mother, Shirley, often joked that her son Larry was so small she could put him in a shoebox.
Larry attended Parchment Public Schools and graduated from high school in 1965. During his high school years he performed in a band with his friends called “The 5 Minors”. , already excelling in his talent as a musician, has thrived on the music scene in many venues, including school dances and the VFW. Later in life he would learn to play the guitar and he and several friends would get together with jam sessions with old country music. His wife Judith C. (Davis) Loofboro and sister Sandra DeRyder often joined them. He graduated from high school in 1965 and married his high school girlfriend, Judith C. (Davis) Loofboro on November 6, 1965, at St. Mary’s Church in Kalamazoo, MI.
Right after high school he became an employee of Gibson Guitars until he enlisted in the military in 1966. He and his wife moved to Fort Ord, Calif., Where he was stationed during his time in the military. ‘army. They had their first child, Larry (Lars) J Loofboro, Jr. in 1967, after a postponement of the deployment to Vietnam. He received an honorable discharge in June 1968.
After returning to Michigan in the summer of 1968, he resumed his old job at Gibson Guitar, until he began working at Auto Kihm Tires. He was always ambitious and was always looking for new challenges and applied to work with the former Brown Company now Graphic Packaging, following in his parents’ footsteps. He recalled that he was going there every day to check with human resources for employment and this woman said: “You again, you must really want this job, I will make sure you get hired. ” He would retire after 30 years of service. He would have two more children, Laura Loofboro in 1970 and Kevin Loofboro in 1974.
Bonding with his oldest son, he decided to take on another challenge in his life by becoming a clown and he and his son would often throw birthday parties with magic shows with his trademark, “Hokie Pokey Fiddle said. Dokie “and began his shows with his song. “Let me entertain you.” He also participated in the annual Kalamazoo Christmas Parade, where people often shouted his name every year. From this connection with his son, the role of “Loofy” the Clown was born. He begins to excel in this profession, entertains the children and decides to compete with other clowns. He received several accolades over the years with his clowning skills, most notably his induction into the Midwest Clown Association Hall of Fame in 1996. His expertise was as a master of props where he often designed his own props and taught performances. course on building props. He attended Ringling Brothers Clown College in Baraboo, WI, where he took classes to improve his skills and had the opportunity to perform with other clowns in three circuses. His compassion for children did not go unnoticed when he often visited Borgess and Bronson Hospital and spoke to sick children. He has done many shows with Kids with Burn Camps and Kids with Cancer, making their world laugh. One of his highlights in over 30 years of clowning was when he fulfilled a dream with the Make a Wish Foundation where he performed with a young boy who wanted to be a circus clown at the Cheff Center. His two other children, Laura and Kevin would also join him over the years, and then when his first grandchild, Sydney Loofboro was a toddler, she joined as well. He wanted to make it a family affair because family was important to him.
He retired from clowning and his interest turned to street cars, and he decided to rebuild a 32-foot, five-window Ford coupe, which looked like the street rod from the movie “American Graffiti.” He was very proud of his car and often went with his wife to auto shows where he had won many accolades.
His children aspired to succeed him by getting involved in the Kalamazoo Civic Theater youth program and began to learn new skills. He always supported his children and spent long hours parked along the street while his children were busy rehearsing or playing. He decided to become a board member of the Kalamazoo Civic Youth Theater to show his support for the arts. His talents as a clown did not go unnoticed and will be asked to give make-up lessons at the Civic for young people. Years later, his granddaughter, Hannah Huff, would find her place as the third generation on the “stage”. Larry was very proud to see his family entertained over the years and would see many productions. He also helped his daughter set up behind-the-scenes properties for a production she was running.
He was a born artist and would pave the way for many new clowns. He has mentored numerous clowns and served on the board as chairman of Alley 44, The Grand & Glorious Mid-Michigan Galaxy of Clowns.
Larry was predeceased by his father and mother. He is survived by his wife, Judith C. (Davis) Loofboro. Her children, Lars J. Loofboro, Laura (Vince) Huff and Kevin Loofboro; grandchildren, Sydney (Rachel Schulbaum) Loofboro, Logan (Sarah) Loofboro, Hannah Huff, Cooper Huff and Gemma Huff; and her sister, Sandra DeRyder.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in memory of Larry to Clowns of America International – Alley 44, The Grand & Glorius Mid-Michigan Galaxy of Clowns or Dysautonomia International for POTS Research. Services outsourced to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S. Burdick St, Kalamazoo MI 49007. To view Larry’s personalized web page, please visit https://www.langelands.com

Posted by Langeland Family Funeral Homes on January 10, 2022.

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