James Frederick “Jim” Looney, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather and affectionately known to his grandchildren as “Poppa Jim,” passed away on July 16, 2022, in Gonzales, La.
An avid fisherman and hunter, Jim is survived by his beautiful wife of 51 years, Myrna Doran Looney; children Brannigan Frederick Looney and wife Erica of Galvez; Aaron Eugene Looney and wife MaryEllen of New Orleans; and Jennifer Looney Richardson and husband Mark of Watson; grandsons Matthew Looney and wife Calli of Denham Springs and Nicholas Looney of Thibodaux; granddaughter Kylah Looney of New Orleans; great grandson Phoenix Dunn of Denham Springs, and one more great-grandson who is lovingly expected in December 2022.
Jim was born to Fred and Vera Looney in Magnolia, Arkansas on November 26, 1942, and graduated from Fairview High School in Camden, Ark. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, with service during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Upon honorable discharge from the Navy, Jim received his Bachelor’s degree in commercial art and advertising from the University of Arkansas and later his Master’s degree in human resources and management from Abilene Christian University in Dallas, Texas.
After living in the Dallas area for several years, Jim and Myrna decided to move back to Donaldsonville. Much of Jim‘s career was spent in the oil industry in sales and management, but his heart belonged to fishing. He authored numerous books about fishing in the area which were very well-received and had several articles written about him and his fishing techniques. Jim was a good friend of and looked up to “The Ole Beachcomber” Bob Scearce and was a guest on his television show. He also was a guest on several television and radio shows and wrote articles on fishing for several newspapers.
After retirement from the oil industry, Jim decided to follow a different path and opened his own pawn shop. He enjoyed operating this with the help of his family for nearly 30 years.
After closing the pawn shop, Jim and Myrna moved to Bayou Corne. He was already in paradise, but it didn’t take long for Jim to find that he missed those daily visits with friends and clients who were also his friends and that even HE couldn’t fish that much. He went back to work in sales for Richard Distributors and then for Roland J. Robert Distributors and then later officially retired.
Jim enjoyed spending his free time fishing with friends and neighbors around his home on Bayou Corne… the home he considered the “perfect paradise”. Once a sinkhole appeared near his beloved home, Jim was forced to make the decision to move. Jim and Myrna soon moved to Belle Rose and, more recently, to Gonzales.
During his time in Donaldsonville, Jim was very active in the community. He participated in several commissions and boards and chaired some of those groups. He belonged to several organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Ducks Unlimited and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Lodge #1153 where he reigned as King of Carnival in 1999 with his daughter Jennifer as his queen.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Vera Looney of Camden, Arkansas; his father and mother-in-law Eugene and Marjorie Berniard Doran of Donaldsonville; and his two brothers-in-law Rocky Morris of Belle Rose and Donald Dugas of Donaldsonville.
Memorial visitation for James F. “Jim” Looney will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, from 9:00 am until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Jim’s honor to the Wounded Warriors Foundation (Wounded Warrior Project – Donate) Arrangements are pending.