Brothers Jim and Burl Loy Meet in 1944 USN Pacific Port

As a teen in late 1970s-early 1980s, most of my genealogy correspondents were retirees, born in last decade of the 1800s and first two decades of the 1900s. While combing through historical newspapers today, it’s always a treat when I find articles on family members I’ve personally known.

It was in my early research years I’d been writing my late grandmother’s younger brother for our Loy family information. Uncle Bill admitted he didn’t know that much. But over time in our correspondence, certain tidbits would come to him that were helpful in my research. After he’d become an adult he no longer lived in Effingham County, Illinois (where his and Grandma’s family had lived since 1830), but eventually settled in Granite City. Then one day I received a letter from Uncle Bill that he and his wife (Aunt Mary) had been at one of his lodge’s get-togethers (where they often had pancake breakfasts and fish frys) and he saw at nearby table his friend Jim Loy and wife Shirley, retired Granite City area school teachers. Uncle Bill knew they were related, as both Loy men were from Effingham County, but didn’t know exactly how. Writing Jim, I discovered they were second cousins once removed. Grandma and Uncle Bill’s grandfather John Henry Loy (1839-1913) was younger brother to Jim’s great-grandfather James B. Loy (1829-1897), sons of Joseph C. Loy, son of John Henry Loy, son of Henry Loy, son of Martin Loy (to America 1741).

From Sunday, 12 March 1944 The Decatur Herald (Decatur, IL):

Effingham Brothers Meet in South Pacific

   Mr. and Mrs. Bliss E. Loy have received word that their two sons, James and Burl, both in the U.S. navy, met recently in the South Pacific.
   While in a Pacific port Jim received a message from a nearby ship reading “Sending regards to Jim Loy–Brigim.” Jim recognized his brother’s boyhood nickname. The two were permitted to spend an afternoon together.

Another article on Jim, from his and Shirley’s wedding.

From Friday, 19 January 1945 The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL):
[A photo of the couple appears in newspaper article. If any family member reading this post has the original, much clearer photo, please send me a scan and I’ll replace this image with it. 🙂 ]

ENSIGN AND MRS. LOY

   Miss Shirley Mae Miller, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Earl A. Miller of Granite City, and Ensign James Lowden Loy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bliss Loy of Effingham, were married Dec. 28 in Niedringhays [sic] Memorial church in Granite City by Rev. Herbert Bennett, with Gloria Stephens, Thelma Lou Hoggett, Lewis Winterroud of Winter Grove and Lieutenant Harry Ward as attendants, Judith Brown as flower girl, and music by Shirley Bergman of Belleville and LaMoyne Rauley. The bride wore white satin trimmed with Chantilly lace, her veil caught in orange blossoms, and carried a white testament with an orchid. She attend [sic] McKendree college at Lebanon and was a member of Alpha Psi Omega. She teaches in Granite City. The bridegroom is a McKendree graduate and member of Sigma Zeta, and was commissioned at Columbia university. He has had 13 months service in the Pacific, and will report Jan. 26 to San Francisco for reassignment.

Side Notes:

  • McKendree college is where Bliss’s uncle Rev. Frank W. Loy had a pastorate in 1880s and 1890s. One of Frank’s sons (that died as baby) was named for McKendree College Bishop, Paul Simpson. One of his daughters, Jessie (whom I met), was given middle name for the college: McKendree.
  • In October 1994 I had the chance to finally visit Loy Chapel (a/k/a “Loy Church” but my dad always remembered it as “Loy Chapel”). Jim and Burl’s older brother Dale had just passed away three years prior and it was during my visit I learned he and wife Virginia had been instrumental in the church and part of the church’s recent renovation had been to his memory. Among those I met at church service that day was Dale’s widow Virginia.
  • My dad remembered from 1930s boyhood a Clark Loy who owned a hardware store in Effingham, who had given my dad a red wagon and a scooter. Something my dad never forgot, though he didn’t know how Clark was related to his mom. Later I would find Clark’s brother was Bliss Loy, the father of Dale, Jim, and Burl.

2 Replies to “Brothers Jim and Burl Loy Meet in 1944 USN Pacific Port”

  1. Gary Liston Loy

    I may have the original picture to send you. Jim and Shirley are (deceased) my parents.
    Thank you for posting this article. I see Uncle Frank was actually my dad’s GREAT Uncle Frank.

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