Success Stories: June Loftiss ’52

Loftiss first discovered her love for teaching after graduating from high school. She enrolled at the University Of Illinois Mercy Hospital School Of Nursing and became a nurse. She found she not only had a knack for nursing, but also had the qualities necessary to be a teacher and decided she’d like to teach nursing students.

Hoping to put her newly acquired nursing skills to the test, Loftiss enrolled at then-College of Saint Francis in 1950 to pursue a degree in secondary education, majoring in science. While enrolled as a full-time student, she worked at the college and held the title of Health Administrator under the direction of Dr. A. Fahrner, the physician for the college at that time. In addition to attending class, June’s responsibilities included keeping health records for all CSF students and assisting with annual physical examinations. She managed the office and infirmary and kept regular office hours so students, faculty and staff could receive medication, injections and care as ordered by Fahmer. While student-teaching for a secondary certificate, much of her time was spent with nursing students from Saint Joseph Hospital School of Nursing.

After graduating from CSF, she was employed by the Julia F. Burnham School of Nursing affiliated with the University of Illinois as a science instructor. Within a few years, June advanced to the position of Director of Nursing Education.

Years later, June worked for the Department of Defense in Indianapolis at the Fort Benjamin Harrison Hospital. There, she was in charge of the hospital staff, was evening supervisor for a surgical ward, and was supervisor of the emergency room. She also taught servicepeople medical and surgical techniques and procedures prior to their departure for the Gulf War. She received numerous accolades and medals from the Department of Defense for her contributions to the war. To this day, Loftiss still keeps her nursing license active and up to date.
Along the way, Loftiss married her high school sweetheart, Walter. Walter served in WWII then enrolled at University of Illinois, where he received his doctorate in audiological research. He then completed a post doctorate at Northwestern University, and went on to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He passed away in 2006.

The Loftiss’ two children, Jeffrey and Jill, both followed their parents’ footsteps in the field of medicine. Jeffrey is the circulation supervisor at the College of Medicine’s Library of Health Sciences at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Jill is Director of Oncology Discovery Operations and Clinical Sciences for Glaxo Smith Kline Oncology.