It is with great regret and sorrow
that I must notify you of the death of our classmate, Jim Looram, on January 4,
2020, in New York, NY after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jim is survived by wife Mary;
their sons Patrick and his wife Odile; Mark; and Sean and his wife Karin;
daughters Mary Frances and her husband Frank and Meaghan and her husband Conrad;
and grandchildren Charlotte Looram, Tadhg Looram, Quinlan Moslander, Delaney
Moslander, Mackenna Moslander, James Looram, Daniel Looram, Maeve Mulcahy, and
The east coast funeral service for Jim will be at 1:30 PM, 14 June 2022, at Most
Holy Trinity Chapel, West Point, with inurnment to follow at the West Point
Cemetery. A reception will follow in Herbert Hall. Those attending should meet
NLT 12:45 PM at the Visitors Control Center located in the West Point Visitors
Center in Highland Falls.
The west coast memorial service for Jim will be at 11:00 AM, 18 June 2022, at
St. Angela Merici Catholic Church, Pacific Grove, CA, with a reception to follow
at the Looram home, 226 Willow Street, Pacific Grove, CA.
If you plan to attend either service, please reply to this message NLT 24 May
2022 indicating the service you will attend.
Condolences may be sent to Mary at
634 W End Avenue, #4, New York, NY 10024-1042.
In lieu of flowers, donations in
Jim's memory may be sent to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue,
Montgomery, AL 36104.
Well done, Jim. Be thou at peace.
Click here to go to
Jim's Last Roll Call Tribute.
Class Memorial Pages\D-1 Jim Looram.pdf
James Francis Xavier Looram
January 25, 1940 - January 4, 2020
James Francis Xavier Looram was a remarkable man who tended to leave an
indelible impression on all those he met. Born and raised in Jackson Heights,
Queens to Mary Harden Looram and James FX Looram, Sr., he was a Xavier High
School and United States Military Academy West Point graduate, an Army
Airborne Ranger, a decorated combat veteran, a Lieutenant Colonel, a PhD, a
business owner, a published author, an exhibited artist, a devoted husband of
57 years, a proud father of five and a doting grandfather of nine.
During his twenty-year military career, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam
as an advisor to a Vietnamese Army Infantry Battalion, an S-3 Operations
Officer in the 7th Air Cavalry, and a senior officer in the theater
headquarters (MACV) providing daily operational briefings to the MACV Command
led by General Abrams. He spent the balance of his career in command, teaching
and leadership development positions. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the
Joint Service Commendation medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross and the
Meritorious Service medal. Jim was a Professor of Leadership at USMA West
Point and would later run the Masters of Science program in organizational
psychology at Chapman University. By the time he retired from the military, he
had earned a doctorate in organizational behavior from NYU, and had completed
the US Army's Command and General Staff College, the Race Relations Institute
as well as the Organizational Effectiveness Training Course, of which he would
later become the Director of Training. He brought all of this training to bear
over the next 30 plus years, running a private consulting business focused on
team-building coursework, leadership and diversity training and personal
development retreats. He believed deeply in helping individuals to discover
their best and most essential self, and that bringing this self into the
professional sphere would result in both effectiveness and personal
He met his wife, née Mary Bellacosa, on a blind date arranged by his cousin
Barbara. As the story goes, his cousin brought two girlfriends to visit West
Point, and originally Jim was supposed to be paired up with the third young
woman. But when he saw Mary from across the street, he knew in an instant that
he had to go on that date with her. He crossed ahead of his fellow cadet to
get to Mary first, and they stayed together for life. They would go on to
forge a partnership in all things, to raise 5 children, to make a home in 6
states, and to grow and change beside one another throughout their lives. Jim
always said that Mary was the only person he wanted to end every day with.
The growing Looram family was stationed at bases all over the country, but
ultimately Jim spent most of his life between New York City and the Monterey
Peninsula in California. Before his first deployment, he was sent with his
wife and two young sons to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey in order
to learn Vietnamese. He was first in his class. Besides providing him with new
language skills, these three months would introduce Jim and Mary to the beauty
of Northern California, where they would later settle for 20 years before
returning to New York City in 1998.
Jim was a formidable man, and not at all uncomplicated. He was also incredibly
charming, and deeply loyal and affectionate toward those he loved. He placed
the highest of values on being a good listener, but true to his Irish
heritage, he was an animated storyteller who enjoyed taking some colorful
license. His frequent refrain was "All stories are true. Some of them actually
happened." He was a perpetual intellectual and spiritual seeker, spending
formative time at The Esalen Institute in Big Sur and also at an ashram in
Nepal as part of a world tour taken when he turned fifty. In spite of his
decorated military career, or perhaps precisely because of it, he would later
proudly march in protest of the Iraq War in Washington. He ran five marathons
and was an avid golfer, particularly enjoying his tee times with his friend
and fellow veteran Phil Butler, his brother-in-law Ed Jacobsen and his
children and grandchildren. After spending years as an amateur sculptor, he
switched gears and took up abstract painting in the last decade of his life.
He was tickled when he acquired what he called a "street peddler" license in
order to participate as a vendor at art fairs around New York City where he
sold many of his paintings and was ultimately represented and exhibited by a
NYC gallery. He revelled in the chance to chat with all stripes of New Yorkers
who passed by his stall and may have enjoyed the competitive rush of selling a
painting even more than the painting itself. He was also giddily supportive of
his wife Mary’s third act - an acting career she launched in her 60s, and
liked to brag about his "model/actress trophy wife" with whom he was utterly
He died in New York City on January 4th of pancreatic cancer, just three weeks
shy of his 80th birthday, in the loving embrace of his wife Mary, whom he
still referred to as “my bride” until his last days. His entire extended
family was together with him for the Christmas holiday.
We are heartbroken to have lost him, but comforted by the knowledge that we
all carry so much of him with us forward into the world.
He is survived by his wife Mary, his children Patrick (Odile) of Bangkok, Mark
of Hong Kong, Mary (Frank) of San Francisco, Sean (Karin) of Hong Kong, and
Meaghan (Conrad) of Brooklyn, his grandchildren Charlotte, Tadhg, Quinn,
Delaney, Mackenna, James, Daniel, Maeve and Ronan as well as a host of
cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, James FX
Looram Sr. and Mary Harden Looram, brother Eugene Looram and sister Mary
Elizabeth Looram Berry.
He will be interred with military honors and a Catholic service at West Point
in March, and a memorial celebration in Pacific Grove will follow. Condolences
may be sent to Mary Looram, 2440 Broadway, Suite 122, New York, NY 10024. In
lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center
or the James FX Looram Fund at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, CA, which
provides tuition assistance to children of military families. The family would
like to express our enormous gratitude to the dedicated doctors, nurses and
team of clinical trial caregivers at Weill Cornell Medicine for their
Walter B. Cooke Funeral Home
Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:
JAMES F. LOORAM
Cullum No.& 23674-1961 January 4, 2020 | Died in New York, NY
Interred in West Point Cemetery, NY
James Francis Xavier “Jim” Looram was a remarkable man who left an indelible impression on all those he met.
Jim was an Army Airborne Ranger, a decorated combat veteran, a Ph.D., a
business owner, a published author, an exhibited artist, and, most important
to him, a devoted husband of 57 years, a proud father of five and a doting
grandfather of nine.
Born and raised in Queens, NY to Dr. James F.X. Looram and Mary Harden
Looram, he graduated from Xavier, a high school in Manhattan whose mission
was to prepare students to be “men for others.” So, it was a natural next
step for him to choose a life of service to country by attending West Point.
Jim thoroughly embraced that service ethos at West Point. His activities
ranged from Catholic Acolytes and Choir to the Dialectic Society. He
participated in the Pistol Club, German Club, Ski Club, and Parachute Club.
His classmates looked to him to figure out how to enjoy life outside the
Academy on the Spartan cadet pay. Organizing a tour of Germany and France in
a rented VW with three of his classmates, Jim made sure that they came back
with change in their pockets from the 100 dollars they each started with.
Jim met his wife, nee Mary Bellacosa, when his cousin brought two
girlfriends to visit West Point for blind dates. Jim made sure to get to
Mary first, and they were inseparable ever after. They would go on to forge
a loving partnership to raise five children, to make a home in six states,
and to grow beside one another throughout their lives. Most importantly, as
Jim loved to say, Mary was the only person he wanted to end every day with.
During his 20-year military career, Jim served two combat tours. After
attending the Defense Language Institute, where he graduated first in his
class, he became an advisor to a Vietnamese Army infantry battalion and then
the S-3 operations officer in the 7th Air Cavalry Regiment. On his second
tour he was the briefing officer for General Creighton Abrams, Commander of
the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV). Awarded the Bronze Star, the
Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross and the
Meritorious Service Medal, Jim also earned an early promotion to lieutenant
colonel and a teaching position in the Military Psychology and Leadership
Department at West Point.
On the West Point faculty, Jim was a highly respected and popular professor.
He was famous with some (and infamous with others) for always wearing a huge
Mickey Mouse watch that Mary gave him so he wouldn’t get too full of
himself. He was too busy to do that anyway, volunteering to teach the
Academy’s first black studies course and finishing his Ph.D. in
organizational behavior at New York University.
Completing his military career as the director of training for the Army’s
Organizational Effectiveness program, Jim had an easy transition to his
second career. He founded and led a private consulting business focused on
team building, leadership, diversity, and personal development. Believing
deeply in helping individuals to discover their best and authentic self for
professional effectiveness and personal fulfillment, he authored a book,
Your Essential Self, that spread his philosophy far and wide.
Jim lived what he taught! He found harmony in the physical, creative, and
commercial spheres of his life. He ran five marathons and was an avid
golfer. He transitioned from an amateur sculptor to an abstract painter,
acquiring what he called a “street peddler” license to sell his paintings at
New York City art fairs and gallery exhibits.
Most importantly, he fostered—and was energized by—the lives of his family.
Giddily supportive of his wife’s stage roles in theatrical groups at the
military posts where they lived, he encouraged her to become a professional
actress. After he retired from the military, they moved to New York City,
where Mary’s talents were quickly “discovered,” and she appeared in movies
and TV shows, ranging from Billions to Orange is the New Black.
Jim and Mary’s five children are following in their parents’ busy lifestyle.
Patrick runs marketing and communication businesses in Thailand and Vietnam;
Mary Frances founded a corporate wellness firm; Mark and Sean are based in
Hong Kong running a flourishing international trading business; and Meaghan
heads the New York Times photojournalism department. In Meaghan’s eulogy for
her dad, she summed up his life well: “Jim was a formidable man, and not at
all uncomplicated. He was also incredibly charming and deeply loyal and
affectionate toward those he loved. He placed the highest of values on being
a good listener, but, true to his Irish heritage, he was an animated
storyteller who enjoyed taking some colorful license. His frequent refrain
was ‘All stories are true. Some of them actually happened.’”
To the lasting joy and benefit to family, friends and students, Jim Looram’s
story actually happened.
family and Charles Welsh ’61