Letter to the editor: No one more accomplished

To the editor:

At the end of September, professor Burdett “Bird” Loomis succumbed to cancer in his Lawrence home.

I run the Washington, D.C., internship program that Bird started. Since his passing, I have come to realize there are countless people who also feel that their relationship with Bird was deeply important. For many, like me, he helped launch their careers. For others, he was a valued friend or colleague. For some, he supported their artwork. Understand, his home is almost a gallery, with art placed in every nook and corner. What was so unique, is that any artwork you pointed to, Bird could tell you the artist and how he and his wife, Michel, likely knew that person.

In addition to the art, the home itself is a masterpiece. Imposing wooden staircases, sublime porches, woodwork, magnificent gardens (Bird beloved zinnias) – all the boxes checked for a grand Victorian home.

What struck me about thinking about Bird recently is the fact that he rose to national acclaim for his professional achievements, yet those are not what defined him.

Perhaps the true measure of a person is how, through their relationships, they positively impact the lives of others. Using that gauge, I don’t think I have ever known anyone who achieved Bird’s level of accomplishment. Like his home, Bird’s life was fully cultivated.

Gary Meltz,

Washington, D.C.


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