Education · Fresno

John Loomis, San Joaquin College of Law founder, dies

San Joaquin College of Law founder John Loomis passed away last week at the age of 96. 

“His integrity, generosity of spirit, service, gentleness and extreme humility will never be extinguished or forgotten,” the college said in a statement. “He left everyone and everything just a little bit better than he found it. In many ways, he was the heart of SJCL, and he’s taken a piece of ours as he leaves.” 

In 1969, Loomis, the Hon. Dan Eymann and the Hon. Oliver Wanger worked together to found the San Joaquin College of Law and enrolled about 100 students in 1970 for the initial class. 

“John was totally committed to the concept of creating a law school and served it loyally from 1969 to his death,” said Wanger in a statement. “I never saw John raise his voice or get angry. That helped SJCL students to see how to be an excellent attorney. Everyone benefited from that.” 

Loomis served as Dean of SJCL and as a professor for over a decade and was a member of the Board of Trustees for 45 years. 

Loomis – a native of Mauston, Wisconsin – served in WWII as a Private First Class mortar gunner with the 279th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division, which was known as the “Iron Men of Metz.” 

While serving in France, Loomis suffered from a case of trench foot and was sent back to England and then the U.S. 

Loomis went on to enroll at Stanford University, where he met his wife Sue. 

They moved to Fresno in 1950 and Loomis served as Deputy District Attorney. 

In 2010, Loomis was named a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor – the highest civilian award issued by the French Government. 

The French Consul presented Loomis with the medal in a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Clovis.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.