James Douglas Luft
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James Douglas Luft
  • December 14, 1934 - December 25, 2017
  • Paris, Texas

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James Douglas Luft, 83, of Paris, passed away December 25, 2017, at the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center in Bonham, Texas.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at Bright-Holland Funeral Home with Rev. Shawn Deterding officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. His final resting place will be in Columbus, Nebraska next to his parent’s grave.

He was born on Dec. 14, 1934, one of two siblings in Fullerton, NE, son of Phillip Luft and Katherine Mohr Luft.

He was confirmed by Pastor Koch in Platte Center on the 17th of Dec. 1950. He graduated from Platte Center High School in 1953. James told his parents that he wanted to go to college to become a teacher. They told him that if he wanted to go to college that he would be on his own because they could not help him financially. So he went to Wayne State College in Wayne, NE working in the cafeteria scrubbing pots and pans, shearing sheep, and doing odd jobs. He received his teaching certificate in 1955. In college he also met his wife, Janice. James was employed as a teacher and coach in the O’Neill Public Schools and the Ames Community Schools in Nebraska and Iowa, with two years in the military of which he spent 18 months overseas in Heidelberg, Germany. While in Ames, Iowa teaching math and science to 5th and 6th graders he started working for Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital as a Unit Manager and became interested in hospital administration. James went to Saint Louis University and received his degree in 1975 in Hospital Executive Development. He was the CEO of several hospitals; Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital in Ames, Iowa, Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa, and Adair County Hospital in Greenfield, Iowa. His last employment brought him to Texas where he was CEO of Red River General Hospital in Clarksville, Texas where he worked from 1985 – 1996 and retired.

He had five children, Royce Ann Quinn, Steven Luft, Lynda Reid, Carla Peltier, and Phillip Luft. Phillip preceded him in death in Oct. 2012.

He was a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church where he served as an Elder for many years.

He had a love for cars, there was a different car every few months. He loved McDonalds coffee and enjoyed a good steak dinner.

He is survived by his four children, 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, his partner, Karin Jones, who lovingly took care of him in the last two years of his life.

He is now with his Savior and will be missed by many.