Robert “Bob” Loquaci spent nearly a century in the Madera dirt as both a second-generation farmer and an avid sports fan. When he was indoors, much of his time was spent lobbying for better farming conditions or entertaining friends and family.
Mr. Loquaci died Oct. 31 in Madera. He was 92.
He was born on June 1, 1923, to Madera farmers Urbano Loquaci and Eda Pistoresi Loquaci. Richard Loquaci said his grandfather began working on his parents’ small fruit farm almost immediately.
“He was born into farming,” Richard said. “And he’s been in farming forever. We all have.”
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Mr. Loquaci married Dora Karahadian, whose family owned a large ranch in Madera now known as Loquaci Ranch, after serving in the Pacific during World War II. The family spent the next 70 years growing a variety of crops and raising two future farmers, Leslie and David.
David Loquaci said his father was always looking to try new things in the farming world. He started mechanically harvesting grapes with an upright harvester in 1972 – a time in which the vast majority of local growers still used manual labor. He even tried out one of the world’s first mechanical pomegranate harvesters.
Mr. Loquaci got involved in agriculture industry politics during his time as a grape grower. He was a founding director and the first president of the Raisin Bargaining Association and testified in Washington, D.C., about the need for imported raisins to pass U.S. food safety standards. He also served on a dozen other growing boards, including the California Association of Winegrape Growers and the Raisin Administrative Committee.
“He was an icon in the area,” said Bruce Norton, treasurer of the Madera County Ag Boosters, where Mr. Loquaci also served. “He will be greatly missed.”
Outside of agriculture, Mr. Loquaci was a lifetime member at Madera’s Elks Club, a director of both the Madera County Fair Board and the Madera Chamber of Commerce and a La Vina School trustee.
David Loquaci said his father was also very involved in helping young agricultural enthusiasts through FFA and 4-H. He also co-founded the Madera Ag Youth Association, which helped students purchase livestock to raise and show at the Madera County fair.
Mr. Loquaci was an avid sports fan, helping out with local Little League teams, his son said. He served as president of the Madera Golf and Country Club, where he helped design and build the back nine holes.
Richard Loquaci remembered his grandfather as “a great guy” who always put his family first. Both Richard and David said he loved to entertain people at his home.
Richard, a fourth-generation Loquaci farmer, said the family plans to continue on in Madera’s agricultural community.
- Born: June 1, 1923, in Madera
- Died: Oct. 31, 2015, in Madera
- Survivors: Wife Dora; sons David and Leslie; grandchildren K.C., Richard and Robbie; four great-grandchildren
- Funeral service: Viewing Monday, Nov. 9, from 2-8 p.m. at Jay’s Chapel in Madera; memorial Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. at Jay’s
- Remembrances: Valley Children’s Hospital Foundation, 9300 Valley Children’s Place, Madera CA 93636 or Madera County Ag Boosters, 3055 Fairmont Court, Madera CA 93637