Larry James Loofboro, Sr. found peace on Thursday, January 6, 2022, after months struggling with several health issues including diabetes, kidney, and congestive heart failure, at his home with his family surrounded around his bedside. He was born September 26, 1946, in Kalamazoo, MI son of Wynan and Shirley (Zimmerman) Loofboro and had been a lifelong area resident, aside for three years his family lived in Orangeville, MI. His mother, Shirley, often joked that her son Larry was so small she could fit him in a shoe box.
Larry attended Parchment Public Schools graduating high school in 1965. During his high school years, he performed in a band with his friends called "The 5 Minors" He had been playing the accordion since a young boy of age ten so when he reached high school, already excelling in his talent as a musician, thrived in the music scene in many venues including school dances and the VFW. Later in life he would teach himself 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 his sister Sandra DeRyder would often join them. He graduated high school in 1965 and married his high-school sweetheart, Judith C. (Davis) Loofboro on November 6, 1965, at St. Mary's Church in Kalamazoo, MI.
Right after high school he became employed at Gibson Guitars until he was drafted into the army in 1966. He and his wife moved to Fort Ord, CA where he was stationed during his time in the military. They had their first child, Larry (Lars) J Loofboro, Jr. in 1967, after deferment from deployment to Vietnam. He had an honorable discharge in June of 1968.
After returning to Michigan in the summer of 1968, he went back to 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 formerly Brown Company now Graphic Packaging, following the footsteps of his parents. He recalled that he would go there every day to check with human resources for employment and this woman stated, "You again, you really must want this job, I will make sure you are hired." He would retire from that job after 30 years of employment. 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 becoming a clown and he and his son would often do birthday parties with magic shows with his trademark, "Hokie Pokey Fiddle a Dokie" and start his shows with his song "Let Me Entertain You." He was also involved with the annual Kalamazoo Christmas Parade where people would often holler out his name every year. From this connection with his son, the role of "Loofy" the Clown came to life. He began excelling in this profession, entertaining children and decided to compete with other clowns. He received several accolades over the years with his clowning including being inducted in the Midwest Clown Association Hall of Fame in 1996. His expertise was as a prop master where he would often design his own props and would go on to teach classes on prop building. He attended Ringling Brothers Clown College in Baraboo, WI where he took classes to enhance his skills and had the opportunity to perform with other clowns in three ring circuses. His compassion for children did not go unnoticed when he would often go to Borgess and Bronson Hospital and talk to the children who were ill. He did many shows with Kids with Burn Camps and Kids with Cancer bringing laughter into their world. One of his highlights in 30 plus years in clowning was when he made a dream come true with the "Make a Wish Foundation" where he performed with a young boy who wanted to be a clown in a circus at Cheff Center. His two other children, Laura, and Kevin would join him as well over the years and then when his first grandchild, Sydney Loofboro was a toddler, she joined in too. He wanted to make this a family affair because family was important to him.
He retired from clowning and his interest turned to street rod cars, and he decided to rebuild a 32' five window Ford Coupe, which resembled the street rod from the movie, "American Graffiti." He was very proud of his car and would often go with his wife to car shows where he had won many accolades.
His children aspired to follow in his entertaining shoes, by getting involved with the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre youth program and began learning new skills. He was always supportive of his children and would spend long hours parked along the street while his children were busy rehearsing or performing. He decided to take on as a board member for the Kalamazoo Civic Youth Theatre to show his support for the Arts. His skills in clowning did not go unnoticed and would be asked to teach makeup classes at the Civic for the youth. Years later, his granddaughter, Hannah Huff, would find her way as a third generation on the "boards." Larry was very proud to see his family entertaining over the years and would see many productions. He also assisted his daughter in backstage making properties for a production she was directing.
He was a born entertainer and would pave roads for many new clowns. He mentored many, many clowns and served on the board as president of Alley 44, The Grand & Glorious Mid-Michigan Galaxy of Clowns.
Larry was preceded in death by his father and mother. He is survived by his wife, Judith C. (Davis) Loofboro. Also surviving are his 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 sister, Sandra DeRyder.
Graveside services will be held 1:00 Tuesday afternoon in Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Larry's memory to Clowns of America International - Alley 44, The Grand & Glorius Mid- Michigan Galaxy of Clowns or Dysautonomia International for POTS Research. Services entrusted 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
COAI Alley 44 - The Grand & Glorious Mid-MI Galexy of Clowns
5020 East O Avenue, Kalamazoo MI 49048
Dysautonomia International for POTS Research