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Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the life of Daniel Moreno Lofton and share this dedication by this family.
Daniel was born into this world on October 16, 1946, in Tucson, Arizona, to Peter Lofton and Jane Moreno. He was the eldest of his siblings. Daniel was presented to the Lord at the First Apostolic Church of Tucson by Pastor Reyes Coronado. At the young age of 19, Daniel made the life-changing decision to follow Jesus. He was baptized by Pastor Joe Fregoso at the First Apostolic Church of Tucson.
Soon after, he was drafted by the United States Army and served as Combat Medic in the Vietnam War from September 1967 through September 1969. As a Combat Medic, he was at the frontlines, ready to render lifesaving aid to the wounded and, in other cases, recover the remains of those soldiers lost and ensure that no man was left behind. During his service, he received the following medals, badges, and commendations: National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Air Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Combat Medical Badge; and Army Commendation Medal. When he did speak about his personal experiences in the war, it was to acknowledge how the hand of God was upon his life and spared him from bullets as they grazed by the sides of his face and ears while he rendered aid or how he was kept safe as he traversed minefields to get to the wounded. He was always grateful to have made it back with no physical injuries and always made it a point of importance in his life to acknowledge the service of his fellow veterans and the sacrifice of those that did not make it back. Daniel continued serving as an employee of the Veterans Administration Hospital for 35 years until he retired.
In 1969, Daniel met Mireya Anna Luisa Martinez at the First Apostolic Church in Tucson while she was visiting her cousin Pastor Gilbert Samano, Sr., and his family. As the friendship and love grew, they decided to marry, and on April 3, 1971, in the presence of their family and friends, they exchanged their vows and were married by Pastor Pablo Rodriguez at the First Apostolic Church of Compton, CA. Daniel and Mireya were blessed with two children, Ann Marie Lofton and Daniel Lofton, Jr.
Those close to Daniel knew him for his thoughtful and caring personality. His kindness and unwavering willingness to serve others were demonstrated through his service as an ordained minister in the Apostolic Assembly. During his tenure, he served in many leadership roles in the men's auxiliary at the district, sector, and local levels. In addition, he was assistant pastor both in San Gabriel and Whittier, CA. His ministry was characterized by visiting and praying for the sick and elderly, utilizing the gift and calling the Lord had placed upon him. He had a heart for those in need, and often, he could be found providing a meal and a word of encouragement to brighten someone's day. Other times he would ask his wife, Anna, to pack extra sandwiches or burritos for lunch to share with someone he knew was in need. When one of his co-workers died with no next of kin, he took it upon himself to contact the Veteran's Administration and gather all the necessary paperwork to ensure that he was given a proper burial. This was typical of Daniel. Always compassionate; always generous.
As often remembered by his family, when challenges presented themselves, a few of his favorite sayings to bring encouragement were ``Help is on the way!'' ``Trust in Almighty God!'' and ``All things are possible if you only believe.'' How could one not feel better after hearing those words?
As a young man growing up on the south side of Tucson, Danny attended Sunnyside High School, where he excelled in varsity track and field and cross country, winning various awards and competitions. His specialty was the 100-yard dash, where he went on to win the city championship. He also played varsity football. Daniel loved sports and enjoyed going to games with his family or watching them on TV with his son. His passion for sports would not be complete if we did not mention how much he enjoyed watching and rooting for the U of A Wildcats.
Daniel loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with his mother, Jane, visiting his aunts and uncles, and sharing family time with his sisters, brothers, and cousins. He also enjoyed his visits with his mother-in-law, Maria Luisa, and the extended family gatherings. He especially enjoyed his time with his wife and children. Family dinners, traveling, historical sites, and church events were happily spent together.
On January 23, 2023, Daniel entered into his rest surrounded by his wife and son. Until we meet again, dear husband, father, brother, and friend, you will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.
Daniel was predeceased by his daughter, Ann Marie Lofton-Arce, as well as his brothers, David and Jesse. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mireya Anna Lofton; his son Daniel M. Lofton, Jr.; daughter-in- law, Angelica T. Lofton; and grandson, Zachary Arce. He is also survived by his sister, Lydia; stepsisters, Esther, Sylvia, Lourdes, Dolores, Alice, Rosemary and Emma; and stepbrothers, Michael and Arthur.
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