A longtime resident of Portola Valley and member of the Stanford English Department from 1952-1981, died at the age of 93 in Palo Alto on October 31, 2012. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Professor Loftis graduated from Emory University in 1940 and served in the United States Navy as a communications officer on a troop transport vessel in the Pacific war zone during the Second World War. After earning his PhD at Princeton, John Loftis joined the English Department at UCLA in the Fall of 1948. In 1952, he transferred to Stanford where he taught until 1981, serving as chairman of the English Department from 1973-1976. Working in the field of Restoration Comedy and later in comparative literature, Loftis published several groundbreaking books including a study of the influence of Spanish writers of the 'Golden Age' on their English contemporaries. His interest in Hispanic studies grew out of his experience as a visiting scholar in Peru in 1959. Scholarship remained a lifelong passion and he continued to pursue his literary interests until well into his 80s.
He married Anne Nevins in 1946 and for most of their 66 years of marriage, they lived in Portola Valley. He is survived by his wife, his three daughters, Mary Loftis Tuller, Laura Craven and Lucy Benaouda, and by seven grandchildren.