Dr. Joe D. Loftis, 80, of Rockwall passed from this life to his heavenly reward on Feb. 4, 2015.
Joe was born June 18, 1934, in Royse City, the youngest of two sons born to Laborn and Mary Nell (Dowell) Loftis. Joe and his family moved from Royse City to Rockwall when he was in grade school, and he graduated from Rockwall High School in 1952. After high school he attended Texas A&M University where he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1958. After graduating from Texas A&M, Joe came back to Rockwall and owned and operated the Rockwall Veterinary Clinic. In those early years Joe worked mostly out of his car and made large animal calls all over Rockwall, Collin, Ellis, Hunt, Rains, Kaufman and Dallas counties. In 1970 Joe built the Rockwall Veterinary Hospital; and while he still made many out calls, for the first time his clients could bring their large animals to him. Joe served as an official State Fair of Texas veterinary for more than a decade and as the president of the North Texas Equine Practitioners Association in the 1970s.
Joe was always very supportive of the 4-H and FFA clubs in Rockwall and surrounding counties. Joe was a proud supporter of Texas A&M University. He was a charter member of the Rockwall A&M Club; and a two-time recipient of the Mark Francis Development Award given by the College of Veterinary Medicine. He may have been most proud of the fact that both of his sons and all of his grandchildren hold degrees, or are currently students at Texas A&M. Joe was also very involved in the community. He served on the Rockwall Independent School Board and was a deacon at the First Baptist Church. He has been a member of the Rockwall Rotary Club since 1958 serving as president 1992-93 and receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Joe also served as a director of Texas Heritage Savings Bank and on Governor Dolph Briscoe’s Committee on Agriculture for Rockwall County.
Joe was probably most proud of his family. He married his high school sweetheart, Jo Ann Rochell in 1956; they enjoyed 58 years as man and wife. They had two boys, Dowell and David. David followed Joe into veterinary medicine, worked with Joe for several years and then took over the full practice when Joe retired. Throughout his career, Joe worked regularly on American Quarter Horse Association champions that resided in palatial barns and down lonely dirt roads on animals that were vital to the welfare of struggling families. They all knew they could call at any time and “Doc Joe” would be there. Thousands through the years entrusted their animals to his care. He was a great veterinarian. He was an even better man.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Laborn Dudley and Mary Nell (Dowell) Loftis.
He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann (Rochell) Loftis; two sons, J. Dowell Loftis of San Antonio and J. David Loftis and wife Christine of Rockwall; and four grandchildren, Catherine Hernandez and husband Keith of Houston, Joe Henry Loftis of San Antonio and Haley and Reed Loftis of Rockwall.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at First Baptist Church, 610 S. Goliad, Rockwall, with Pastor Steve Swofford officiating. Interment follows in Rockwall Memorial Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday, Feb. 6, at Rest Haven Funeral Home-Rockwall Chapel from 6 to 8 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church or Hospice Plus.
Online condolences may be made at www.resthavenfuneral.com and www.heraldbanner.com.
Published on  February 5, 2015