East Lansing, Michigan
Miriam Stevens Loomis, a dedicated and much loved resident of the Lansing area for more than 60 years and the widow of a prominent Lansing lawyer, died on August 24, 2015, at her home in East Lansing after suffering a stroke. She was 95. She was born in Grand Rapids on May 11, 1920, the daughter of Joe Stevens, Jr. and Anne Ghysels Stevens, and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School. She attended Grand Rapids Junior College before transferring to Calvin College, from which she graduated in 1941. While at Grand Rapids Junior College she met George W. Loomis, who later became a founding partner of the Lansing law firm now known as Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis and Gotting and whom she married in 1942. During World War II, while her husband served in the navy, she taught high school English in the Grand Rapids area. She also established a strong association with her husband’s church, Fountain Street Church, which under its minister, the Rev. Dr. Duncan E. Littlefair, developed a highly liberal Christian theology. In 1948 she and her husband moved to Lansing where she became involved with many community activities while she and her husband raised three children. Among the organizations that benefited from her industry and commitment were the Junior League of Lansing, of which she was president; the Ingham County Bar Auxiliary, of which she was also president; the Sparrow Hospital Guild and its annual Charity Ball; Bishop Circle of Plymouth Congregational Church, which was the family’s longtime church in Lansing; the Whitehills Book Club, of which she was an early and active member; and the Metropolitan Opera Outstate Committee.
Around the time her youngest child, Stevens, finished high school in the mid-1970s, she embarked on a career as an interior decorator, eventually establishing Miriam Loomis Interiors; later she was joined by her friend Marilyn Stephens. Over the years, many homes in the Lansing area benefitted from their keen eye for beauty and style. During the years when her elder son George and his family lived on the East Coast, she was a frequent visitor to New York City and Larchmont, New York, and enjoyed going to musical and theatrical events and eating in fine restaurants as well as furthering her decorating business. An avid golfer, she regularly placed among the winners of the ladies championship tournaments of the Country Club of Lansing, of which she and her husband were longtime members. Later, she revived her interest in tennis and excelled in that sport as well. For many years she and her husband wintered at the Mountain Lake Club, Lake Wales, Florida.
Her warmth and compassion, consummate skills as a hostess, appreciation of reading and the arts, love of gardening, liberal politics, and selfless devotion to her family were a source of inspiration and endeared her to many, not least her children and grandchildren. Her husband died in 2007 and four of her six siblings, all of whom lived long and fruitful lives, also died before she did, as did her sister-in-law Beatrice L. (Bunny) Buchen and her husband Philip W. Buchen. She is survived by her sister Judith Stevens Hooker (Robert L.) of Grand Rapids.
She is also survived by three children, George W. Loomis, Jr. of East Lansing, Anne D. Loomis of Grand Rapids, and Stevens P. Loomis (Donna) of West Branch, Mich., and six grandchildren, Sarah Marie Loomis of Boston, George W. Loomis, III, of Los Angeles, Franklin P. Loomis of Lansing, Martha Miriam Loomis of Grand Rapids, and Kal and Wyatt Loomis, both of West Branch, as well as many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at Noon at the Country Club of Lansing, 2200 Moores River Drive, Lansing. Memorial gifts may be made to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 434 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001, or to the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, 501 S. Capitol Ave., Suite 400, Lansing, MI 48933.