Walter Melvin Loomer was born November 12, 1900, in Ortho, Webster County, Iowa. He was the first born of Charles Francis Loomer and Mary Ella Schram Loomer. He attended several elementary schools in Iowa and Minnesota before graduating from high school at Fergus Falls, Minnesota. He graduated from the State Teacher's College (then, the State Normal School) at Mayville, North Dakota in 1926 and from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1931. He returned to UND to receive a Master of Science in Education in 1936.
Before and during his attendance at the State Teachers College, Loomer taught at rural schools in Minnesota and North Dakota from 1920-1925. From 1926- 1928 he was principal at Lincoln Elementary School in Beach, North Dakota. For the 1928-1929 school year he was principal at Washington Elementary School in Grand Forks. He became principal at Roosevelt Elementary School in Grand Forks in 1929 where he remained until 1949. At that point, he became principal at Lincoln Elementary School, also in Grand Forks. Beginning in 1948, he became Coordinator of Elementary Education for the Grand Forks Public Schools, a position he held for several years.
Throughout his career, Loomer was active with many professional affiliations. These included: the National Education Association (NEA) in which, at one point, he was a member of the Tax and Finance Committee; the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA) in which he became Field Director (1936-1937) and eventually a life member; the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in which he was active in both the National and North Dakota Congresses, serving on the State Board of Managers as Legislative Chairman for several years and as president at the state level for one year; and Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), a professional educational fraternity, in which he served as secretary, treasurer, vice-president, and president in the University of North Dakota Chapter.
Loomer was also very active in the community. In the Lions International Organization he held many positions including zone chairman, president, and delegate to ten district conventions. During WWII, Loomer was a member of the American Red Cross and the County Ration Board and was a first aid instructor for cadet nurses. Some of his other activities included participation in the Youth Council, the Adult Education Council, and the Citizen's Forum.
Walter Loomer married Caroline Folstad June 27, 1923, in Colfax, North Dakota. The couple had four children: Mary Ella, Walter Jr., Cheryl, and Renee. Caroline Loomer passed away May 30, 1971. Walter Loomer died August 23, 1988.
The Walter Loomer Papers have been divided into six series:
Series 1: Professional Activities
Series 2: Community Activities
Series 3: Second World War
Series 4: Family Records
Series 5: Financial Records
Series 6: Miscellaneous