Oct. 15, 2014 - On Oct. 15, 2014, retired U.S. Army officer and civic leader, Robert James Loe, of Alexandria, Va., departed this life at the Fairfax Belvoir Woods Health Care Center in Alexandria. A memorial service was Oct. 25, at Nativity Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Va., and interment with full military honors will be in spring 2015 at Arlington National Cemetery.
Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 21, 1919, to Iver Loe and Esther Spurrell Loe of Buffalo, Minn., he graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1937 and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in economics the day before he left to fight in World War II. As a newly commissioned U.S. Army officer, he was deployed to French Morocco and Algeria and then landed on Anzio beach with the 1st Armored Division. A tank commander, he was among the soldiers who liberated Rome in 1944 and participated in the victorious Po Valley campaign. In 1946, he married Adah Maxine Sahr, a nurse and daughter of Dr. Benjamin and Maxine Elliott Sahr, of Hutchinson. After re-enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1948, he embarked on a distinguished military career that included participating in the reconstruction of post-war Germany, protecting the South Korean border, teaching U.S. history and ROTC at Washington State University and serving as commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 36th Artillery in Bavaria during the Cold War after the Berlin Wall was built. He moved to Alexandria to serve at the Pentagon in 1966 and retired from the military in 1968.
Lt. Col. Loe was the recipient of the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and numerous campaign ribbons. He worked for New York Life Insurance Co. and then USAA Life Insurance Co. in Arlington, Va. until 1984. In Alexandria, Va., he served as president of Waynewood Citizens Association, president of the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Retired Officers Association, chairman of the Mt. Vernon Republican Party, president of the National Spasmotic Torticullus Association and was a Scottish Rite Mason. He was a founding board member of the Army Retirement Residence Association and worked with Marriott to design and build The Fairfax at Belvoir Woods, a military retirement community in Alexandria.
A devoted family man and friend to many, he was a member of Nativity Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Va., for more than 30 years, where he served on the council and taught Sunday school. He was an artist, known for his fine calligraphy and using his wood burning skills to create plaques featuring caricatures of notable men and women. A trumpet player, he marched in a band in many George Washington birthday parades in Old Town Alexandria in the 1970s.
His beloved wife, Adah, died in 2006. He is survived by his children, Barbara Loe (Fisher) Arthur, of Leesburg, Va., author and president of the National Vaccine Information Center; Deborah Loe, of Dallas, Texas, a linguist and high school and college teacher; and Brian Loe, of Lake Mary, Fla., an attorney in private practice. He is survived by 11 grandchildren, Chris, Ryan and Jessica Fisher, who live in the Washington, D.C., area; Miriam Lamar and Sarah Link, of Mississippi; Joshua, Abigail, Naomi and Rebecca Link, of Texas; Lindsey Loe Sweeting, of North Carolina; and Emily Loe, of Florida; and by six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Marion Loe Weyhrauch, of Waterloo, Iowa, and her children Bob, John and Rick Weyhrauch and Mary Jo James; Nancy Thornton, daughter of his late sister, Dorothy Loe Thornton; nieces, Arielle Thornton and Marissa Thornton; his sister-in-law, Anne Sahr Ball, of Rochester, N.Y.; his brother-in-law, Benjamin Sahr, of St. Paul, and their children; and the children of his late sister-in-law, Mary Sahr Cress, of Bethesda, Md.