O’Rourke & O’Rourke
Inc. Funeral Home

25 River Street
Salamanca, NY 14779
phone: (716) 945-4760
fax: (716) 945-4222
john@orourke-orourke.com

Michael J. Loftus

MANSFIELD — Michael K. Loftus, 94, of Dublin Road, Mansfield, passed away Thursday (Jan. 4, 2024), at Olean General Hospital, following an extended illness.

Born Sept. 25, 1929, in Buffalo, he was the only son of Henry G. and Elmina Kilburn Loftus. On May 27, 1961, at St. Mary’s Church in Little Valley, he married Arielle Josephine Lounsbury, who predeceased him in 2015.

Loftus attended school in Salamanca and Little Valley, graduating from Little Valley High School in 1947. After high school, Loftus attended Akron University, where he ran track for three years, and later received his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois State in 1952 and a Master's from Ithaca College in 1958. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1953-55 in El Paso, Texas.

From 1958 to 1962, Loftus worked at BOCES, coaching high school baseball, volleyball and football. Then from 1962 to 1995, he taught elementary physical education in Ellicottville where he also coached basketball, football and track.

Loftus was best known as the game clock operator for boys and girls basketball, football and girls soccer at Ellicottville for over 45 years. His students would approach him for decades after, reminding him of his nicknames for them and for complementing their “new wheels.” In 2019, Loftus was inducted into the Cattaraugus County Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to youth sports in the county.

Beyond his decades spent in education and youth sports, Loftus also worked for the Cattaraugus County Department of Public Works in the 1940s and ’50s, the Erie Lackawanna Railroad from 1964-81, the Smith Dairy from 1977-95 and painted houses in the summer.

A lifelong Catholic, Loftus served as an altar boy in his youth and later as a lector at St. Mary’s Church until its closing in 2008.

Residing at the family farm in Mansfield for most of his life, Loftus took pride in caring for the property long after it ceased to be a farm. He was often seen doing yard work, painting the farmhouse and barn and mowing the lawn into his 90s. As an animal lover, there were always a few cats around. Loftus enjoyed talking about and watching sports, especially the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Ravens, listening to jazz, watching classic movies, going out for dinner and spending time with family and friends. He always had stories to share.

He is survived by two daughters, Martha (Thomas) Quigley of Salamanca and Amanda (late Stephen) Montgomery of Mansfield; a grandson, Kellen Quigley (Therese Friendhaber) of Olean; a sister, Patricia Gelen of Allegany; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, Loftus was predeceased by a brother-in-law, Edward Gelen, in 2013, and a son-in-law, Stephen Montgomery in 2014.

There will be no visitation.

A graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family and announced at a future date.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the O’Rourke & O’Rourke Inc. Funeral Home, 25 River St., Salamanca.

E-condolences can be sent to orourke.orourkefh@gmail.com or posted to facebook.com/onofh.