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John D. Loft ’73

August 5, 2019, in Long Beach, Indiana.

John’s career in social science research spanned more than 40 years, and he was widely recognized as a leading survey research expert among medical organizations, clinical providers, and patients.

Having grown up in Nebraska, John hadn’t seen much outside of Omaha when he arrived, sight unseen, on Reed’s campus, and initially he suffered from culture shock. Majoring in sociology, he wrote his thesis, “Religion, Occupation, and Marital Decision-Making.” Reed marked a significant turning point in his life, opening new horizons, and his advisor, Prof. James Inverarity [sociology 1971–73], was influential in guiding him to graduate work at the University of Chicago.

John credited Reed with giving him the intellectual interests and openness to the many different perspectives that undergirded his career. He worked as a principal scientist at RTI International, directing its Chicago office, and was the author of numerous articles, monographs, and books.

In 2007, he married Annie Malone and became a loving stepfather to her three daughters.

An avid traveler, John loved deep conversations. He was a devoted yogi, and, for more than 20 years, a student of meditation. These practices became his life support during his illness and beyond. With a devotion that was incredible, John’s wise counsel and gentle spirit were treasured by those who knew him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2019

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