James Wayne Lofton

James Wayne Lofton Former Resident of Oakland Durham, ME, James Wayne Lofton, 59, of Stackpole Road, passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2009 surrounded by his wife and family following a courageous 22-month battle with Cancer. He was born June 10, 1950 in Monroe, LA to the late Hannah Tyson-Manuel and James Bowie. James was raised In Monroe until the age of 10 and then went to live with his aunt, Susie Jefferies of Las Vegas, NV. He graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1968 where he participated in football, track, and wrestling.  He received an Associate Degree in Fire Service from University of Las Vegas in 1970. In 1971 he became the lst Black firefighter for the Las Vegas Fire Department going on to earn the rank of Captain. James relocated to California and joined the Treasure Island Naval Station Fire Department from 1989-1998 earning the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. From 1998- 2003 he worked as Fire Chief for the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA. From 2003-2006 he was Senior Chief Officer for the Naval Weapons Station in Concord, CA where he retired. While in California James met and married Dannita, affectionately known to him as Danni, in 1994. He and Danni relocated to Durham, ME in 2006. While in California James was a member of the Greater Cooper AME Zion Church where he was a member of the Trustee Board, the Men's Chorus, the Men of Zion and the Corene Peyton Harris Society. Upon coming to Maine he transferred his membership to the Green Memorial AME Zion Church. James was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Cleveland Tyson. James leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 15 years, Danni; two daughters, Portia Michele Lofton and D'Ana Marie Lofton of Las Vegas; a stepdaughter, Melissa Dann Stewart Watson (Greig) of Antioch, CA; three stepsons, Anthony Craig Stewart (Diane) of Portland, ME, Willie Mathew Stewart Jr., (Kathy) of Windham, ME and Garrett Allen Stewart of Bath, ME; three sisters, Johnnie Thomas of Monroe, LA, Linda Henderson of Lawndale, CA and Geneva Lofton of Canyon County, CA; two brothers, John Tyson (Mary)of Monroe, LA and Clinton Tyson of San Francisco, CA; 12 grandchildren, Tiana, who James proclaimed to be his guiding light, Mya, Cedric, Anthony (AC), Trish, Dayna, Samantha, Will, Marcus, Shea, Garret, Jr., Elijah and a host of family and friends James will be remembered as an inspiration to all who came to know him. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Thursday, December 17, 2009 from 4 - 8 p.m. at Jones Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St. Portland. A celebration of life will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, December 18, 2009 at Green Memorial AME Zion Church, 46 Sheridan St. Portland. Burial will follow at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland. You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with the Lofton family by visiting James' guest book at Donations in his memory may be made to: The Hospice House of Androscoggin 236 Stetson Road Auburn, ME 04210

Published in East Bay Times on Dec. 16, 2009