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LOOMIS, Robert S. |
Robert Simpson Loomis died peacefully at home in Davis, Calif. on March 27, 2015, at age 86. Bob was born October 11, 1928, in Ames, IA, the second son of Walter Earl and Helen Loomis. He graduated from high school early to attend Iowa State University. While at ISU, he met Lois Ann Morris in freshman chemistry class, always maintaining that she was the prettiest girl in the class. They were married in 1951 and enjoyed 58 years of marriage until Ann's passing in 2010. Bob did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin and, after service in the U.S. Air Force in atmospheric research at the A.F. Cambridge Research Center, returned to the University of Wisconsin to earn his Ph.D. in Botany in 1956. Bob joined the faculty of Agronomy at UC Davis in 1956, where he remained until his retirement in 1991. His early research focused on nutrient and water stress in sugarbeet crops. He was a pioneer in computer modeling of growth in various crops. His colleagues often commented on his broad overview of agricultural systems. In addition to teaching duties, he mentored many M.S. and Ph.D. students. After retiring in 1991, he continued to work as an editor for several journals and, with David Connor (University of Melbourne, Australia) and Kenneth Cassman (University of Nebraska, 2nd edition), wrote "Crop Ecology: Productivity and Management in Agricultural Systems." During college Bob spent two summers as a lookout fireguard in the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, where he manned a fire lookout tower and maintained trails. This experience led to a passion for the outdoors that he shared with his family and friends on many camping and backpacking trips over the years. He was an avid sailor and longtime member of Lake Washington Sailing Club. He enjoyed many travels that included sabbaticals to Boston, New Zealand, The Netherlands and Australia as well as visits to his family, friends, colleagues and former students around the world. Bob is missed by daughters Susan, Sarah (Rodney Paul) and Caroline; grandsons Alex, Thomas, Robert and Matthew May. A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis on May 30 at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the Robert S. and Lois Ann Loomis Graduate Award in Agronomy, payable to UC Davis Foundation and mailed to Janet Berry, UC Davis Conference Center, 2nd floor, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616 or to a charity of your choosing.