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Elda's Story

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Elda (Barnum) Loomis, 93, of Clymer, PA, and formerly of Gaines, NY, died on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC) in Indiana, PA. The daughter of Eugene 'Everett' and Florence Clara (Bates) Barnum, she was born on June 23, 1923 in Albion, NY.
Elda was a graduate of the Albion High School and then matriculated at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she earned a B.S. in Home Economics. After graduating from Cornell, Elda was employed as a home economics teacher at the Ludlowville, NY School District. On June 29, 1946, Elda wed Howard Beach Loomis and they shared 67 years of marriage until Howard's death on November 20, 2013. She was of the protestant faith. While residing in New York state, Elda was a member of the Home Bureau and served as a 4-H Club Leader.
An outstanding seamstress, Elda sewed her family outfits running the spectrum of clothing for special occasions, as well as every day attire. In addition to sewing, some of her favorite pursuits were crocheting and knitting.
Beginning in 1945, one of the most unique activities Elda was engaged in over a period of 60 plus years involved her membership in the Round Robin. Elda, along with 11 of her friends who met as classmates at Cornell University, created as Round Robin letter correspondence circle. On an annual basis, over the course of a year, an envelope containing letters from each of the 12 classmates would be continually mailed between the homes of each of these friends.
When the envelope containing the letters arrived at each participant's home, each woman would read all the letters, take out her last letter and then write a new letter chronicling the events in her life and family to insert in the envelope and mail on the parcel of letters to the next classmate on the Round Robin circle. A special link of friendship was nurtured and sustained through this extraordinary connection.
Elda possessed an innate gift for letter writing and would regularly write to her children, extended family members and friends, some of whom received letters on a weekly schedule.
Elda is survived by her four children, Kathleen Snyder of Clymer, PA, Deanna Loomis Houck of Candor, NY, Audrey Black and husband, Brian, of Slippery Rock, PA, and Jay Loomis and wife, Connie, of Collegeville, PA; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Eleanor Loomis of Manlius, NY, and Gertrude Lindsley of Fulton, NY; and her numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Howard Loomis; her daughter, Judy Loomis; her son-in-law, Clair Snyder; her three brothers, Bill, Gene and Harvey Barnum; and her two sisters, Janet Barnum and Janice Thaine.
In keeping with Elda's wishes, there will not be a public visitation or funeral service. A private family graveside service will take place at Mount Albion Cemetery in Albion, NY at a future date.
Arrangements are with the assistance of the Rairigh Funeral Home, Ltd. in Hillsdale, PA.
Published on February 3, 2017
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