James H. Lofland loved pecan trees. He loved them in the way a determined person loves things. They love things a little differently. There is a matter of fact-ness to their approach, a straightforward way of solving any problem that comes up. This was the way he cared for his retirement acres of trees and for the woman he loved, his wife, Helen Hernandez Lofland.

He was an engineer by schooling and by nature and worked as chief of the optic division of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico until he retired. James was thoughtful in the things he did, soft-spoken, and generous of heart. His quiet nature reminded us of our grandfather, who first taught us that silence could also mean love and rest in our happy but loud family.

When this wonderful engineer, loving husband, and stepfather joined our loud – and often obnoxious and messy – Hispanic family, he rode along the waves of our noise and activity like a cardinal. He’d hunker down in his tree as our windy selves blew about him until we’d wander back home and he’d have his solitude with my mother again.

We understood, as we have a few introverts around here. And we appreciated the grace with which he accepted us into his beautiful pecan orchard world.

James died in a memory care facility in New Braunfels, and we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. We miss him. We miss him so very, very much.

This virus cheated us of another loud and boisterous gathering with him where he would smile and graciously share his kind heart. It cheated us like it’s cheating so many families in our community and in our country. While we are more than a little angry, we are broken-hearted for us all, who are losing those we love.

James left behind a devastated family who loved him dearly. That family includes his wife Helen Hernandez Lofland and two stepdaughters, Christy Lee Prosapio and Winter Desiree Prosapio, along with their husbands Tony Fuentes and Adam Prosapio, and their children.

James was the beloved son of Nola Jones Lofland and Harrison Lofland of Hobbs, New Mexico.  He had four sisters named Patsy Frances Utterback, Jewel Marie Cole, Peggy Ruth Floyd, and Janice Ann Lofland, plus several nieces and nephews.