Jeffrey Paul Loop, 74, Indianapolis, IN, formerly of Kokomo, IN, died at 12:24 a.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at Wellbrooke of Kokomo Assisted Living Center, from the effects of a recently discovered cancer. He was born in Kokomo on January 4, 1949 to James Paul and Joy Ann Parkinson Loop, both deceased.
Until the week of his death, Jeff worked for the United Service Organizations (USO), managing their USO Indianapolis Airport Center and their Indianapolis MEPS (Military Entry Processing Station) USO Center. Jeff began as a volunteer for the USO over 15 years ago to honor the military service of his son, Brian. Going back to 2011 he was assigned to manage the Airport Center, still as an unpaid volunteer, yet in the last few years, in recognition of his management skills and his leadership, he was formally hired on as a USO employee to manage both Centers.
Jeff’s prior career path included Information Technology assignments at Detroit Diesel Allison, EDS/General Motors, and Thomson Consumer Electronics, but his work for the USO was where he flourished the most. In this “second career”, he rose to the management role naturally and from the heart, managing over 100 volunteers.
One of his favorite job functions was to give a welcoming speech to new Armed Forces recruits right after they got off the bus at the Airport, speaking to them immediately after they had been sworn in to serve America, where he would say he was the last friendly face they would see for a while, given that they were going on to Boot Camp! He also welcomed special Honor Flights bringing Service members to the Indianapolis Airport who had sacrificed their lives for their country and helped host the annual Reunion for the survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.
Born in 1949, Jeff was a “founding member” of the Baby Boomer generation, the children of the men and women who courageously saved the World during World War II. His father Paul had served in the Army Air Corps, stationed in India, while mother Joy had worked at Kokomo’s old Kingston Industries plant making munitions for the war effort.
Like many kids of that generation, his early years were focused on sports around the Kokomo area, including Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball, running track, playing on award winning basketball teams at Lafayette Park Junior High, Church League, and playing football at Kokomo High School. Jeff and his brothers also spent hours playing backyard sports with future Major Leaguers Tom and Pat Underwood and other neighborhood friends.
Jeff was a great athlete, but he chose to focus his gifts towards being a consummate, loyal teammate, both in Sports and in Life, humbly downplaying his own contributions and taking pride in the accomplishments of his friends and work colleagues as his career went along.
But those friends and colleagues never failed to recognize Jeff’s talents in return: at Kokomo High School, where he graduated near the top of a class of 900 students; at Purdue University, where he built long lasting friendships as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and became a masterful Bridge player, going on later in life to earn American Contract Bridge League Masterpoints playing Duplicate Bridge with his father Paul; at sports establishments in Indianapolis and with friends around America, where his keen eye for sports talent and his astounding ability to remember facts and figures led people to seek his advice on who would win the Kentucky Derby, for instance, or any upcoming Colts, Pacers, or Boilermaker games; and finally within his own family, where he single handedly organized and managed an Annual NCAA March Madness Pool that contributed thousands of dollars in donations to his cherished USO.
His family is certainly his proudest and greatest accomplishment. Jeff fostered a love of sports in his sons, following their careers in Little League and High School sports. He proudly supported son Brian’s 21 year career in the US Army and recent completion of his Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University. His son Benji earned a PhD. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and continues working on engineering research projects. Jeff was so proud of seeing both sons to go on to be raising thriving families of their own.
Jeff is survived by his brother, John Loop, Chicago; his son Brian Loop, Kokomo, daughter-in-law Chloe, granddaughter Eliana, grandson Broderick “Rak”, granddaughter Stevie, grandson Rivers; and his son Benjamin Loop, West Lafayette, daughter-in-law Carrie, granddaughter Caroline, grandson Joseph, grandson Jack.
He was preceded in death by his father, James Paul Loop, Kokomo, October 24, 2004, his mother, Joy Ann Parkinson Loop, Kokomo, March 4, 2015, and his brother, James Parkinson Loop, Sacramento, CA, August 17, 2006.
A Calling will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday July 14 at the Flanner & Buchanan Washington Park North funeral home at 2706 Kessler Blvd West Dr. in Indianapolis, IN, including refreshments, sharing reminiscences with friends and colleagues, and meeting with the family from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. where designated friends, family members, and colleagues will speak and share thoughts and memories of Jeff, including a brief “White Rose” ceremony conducted by members of Jeff’s Sigma Chi Fraternity in commemoration and honor of the passing of a fellow Sigma Chi.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jeff’s memory may be made to the USO at uso.org/donate/indiana.