August 1, 2003
By Michael Mello
Bee Staff Writer
The Modesto Bee
Lloyd Edward Loeb, co-owner of the old Loeb's Department Store in Modesto for more than 30 years, died Thursday. He was 67.
Mr. Loeb's family reported him missing Wednesday night, after he left in his BMW that morning to get bagels and never returned to his Modesto home. Police put out a media alert Thursday morning.
Later, a passer-by spotted a BMW in a vineyard off Pelendale Avenue in north Modesto and called police.
Officers said they found Mr. Loeb next to his car, and the Stanislaus County coroner's office reported that Mr. Loeb died of complications from multiple sclerosis. MS is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system that can impair motor functions.
Authorities theorized that Mr. Loeb pulled off the road and into the vineyard, got out of his car and collapsed.
Mr. Loeb was born in San Francisco July 12, 1936. He had lived in Modesto since the age of 6 months. He and his brother, Stanley, grew up playing in Loeb's Department Store and later owned it.
Brothers Louis and Jules Loeb started the business in 1927 with the purchase of downtown's P. Latz store.
Jules Loeb was Lloyd and Stanley's father. The store name eventually became Loeb's.
Lloyd Loeb was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in accounting, worked in retail for a short time in the San Francisco Bay Area, and joined the family business in 1959.
Ten years later, Jules Loeb -- whose brother-partner had died -- moved the store from downtown to a free-standing building at 2425 McHenry Ave., trading 87,500 square feet for 25,000 square feet.
Loeb's carried men's clothes and domestic goods, but it was primarily a favorite stop for "mature" women, according to Stanley and Lloyd Loeb, who took over after their father's death and ran the store until closing it in late 1996.
"He was a very hard worker," Stanley Loeb said of his brother. "He was good with the customers, as well as the employees. The employees liked him almost as much as the customers did, and that's half the battle."
Michelle Loeb-Jones, Lloyd Loeb's daughter, said her father loved sidewalk sales. "He thought it was like a carnival," she said.
Indoors or out, he knew how to make sales, Loeb-Jones said. "It was in his blood," she added.
"As children we could bring home something and ask, 'Pa, how much did we pay for this?'" she said. "Ninety-five percent of the time he could peg within a dollar how much we paid for an article of clothing. He could also tell you where it was made."
Mr. Loeb had served as president of the Downtown Merchants Association and belonged to the Chamber of Commerce.
Outside of business, Mr. Loeb had a great love of nature, said his daughter, recalling that her father visited a butcher weekly to buy chicken pieces to feed to a hawk that took up residence in the Loeb family's back yard.
Mr. Loeb was a member of the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center.
He refused to let multiple sclerosis, diagnosed more than 20 years ago, slow him down. He had served as chairman of the Stanislaus Area Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"His motto he came up with was: 'I have MS. MS does not have me,'" Loeb-Jones said. "He was very positive. He never complained. If he stumbled, and you offered him help, he said, 'I can do it myself.' He was a very positive man."
Mr. Loeb was a 1954 graduate of Downey High School, a member of the school's first graduating class. He belonged to the Kappa Nu fraternity.
He was a former member of Congregation Beth Shalom.
He is survived by his wife, Ila R. Loeb of Modesto; children, Yvonne Loeb-Smith of San Jose, Michelle Loeb-Jones of Menlo Park and Lynelle Loeb-Solomon of Modesto; brother, Stanley Loeb of Modesto; and seven grandchildren.
A funeral will be at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Salas Brothers Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow in Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson.
Remembrances may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Center or Cancer
Center, in care of the University of California at San Francisco Foundation,
P.O. Box 248, San Francisco 94143-0248; Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center,
P.O. Box 298, Hughson 95326; or Wings of Protection, P.O. Box 579604, Modesto
Copyright © 2003, The Modesto Bee