Growing up near neighboring family farms, he was educated in the public schools and graduated in 1947. Working as a mechanical roustabout at Morrell Meat Packing Co., he put himself through the University of Iowa, graduating with a BA degree in 1951. After college, he married Shirley Bachman with whom he had one daughter, Cynthia Jane.
Upon graduation, Mr. Louderback was commissioned into the Air Force through the ROTC and immediately called to active duty as a second lieutenant; he was a first lieutenant by the time of separation in 1953. He remained in the Air Force Reserves until retiring in 1962 with the rank of captain.
After active duty, Mr. Louderback began a successful career of 22 years in insurance. Beginning with the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. as a group and pension trainee, he concluded his insurance industry career as EVP and general manager of Reliance Insurance Co. in early 1976. He received a CLU degree in 1964 and was included in “Who’s Who” in insurance in 1973.
After retiring at the age of 46 and spending nearly two years in Sarasota, FL, he visited Vermont where he had previously vacationed with his family. Finding the Mountaineer Lodge in West Dover for sale, he made a very quick decision to buy it and become an inn- keeper. Considering the visitors to be guests in his home, he ran the business in a very personal style. He successfully built the business from 1977 to 1986, with many guests returning each season; and he mentored his young employees.
In 1989, Mr. Louderback married Judith S. Ellis. They worked together finishing their home in Wilmington, one of three houses he built. They enjoyed building stonewalls and planting gardens. Then, in 1991, in honor of Mr. Louderback’s distant cousin Frances Burkhalter, his favorite cook, they opened Fannie’s Mainstreet Restaurant, a popular local “comfort food” establishment. They ran it together until 2001. Upon this retirement, he was able to further pursue his hobbies; clock making, antique repair, furniture building, as well as the study of American history, especially the founding of this nation and its presidents. An avid golfer and fisherman all his life, he continued these activities as health permitted.
In his final days he was visited by many former employees, now friends. They reflected on their working experiences with him and how he positively influenced their young lives. Their infractions were met with gentle humor. Always a gentleman, he never asked anything of anyone that he wouldn’t do himself.
Mr. Louderback is survived by Judith, his wife of 23 years; his daughter Cynthia L. Schutt and her husband Eugene, of Charlottesville, VA; two granddaughters, Jennifer S. Ristau and her husband Matthew, of Greenwich, CT, and Hillary S. Wallace and her husband Cameron, of Minneapolis, MN; four great- grandchildren, Landon Stanley and Felicity M. Ristau, and Harrison C. and Lewis C. Wallace; Judith’s children; Paul H. Ellis and his wife Monika, and Jameson S. Ellis and his wife Jill; her three grandchildren, Gordon and Suzanne Ellis, and Ravenel Ellis; and his former wife Shirley B. Morrison.
A memorial service will be held Saturday January 26, at 1 pm, at St. Mary’s in the Mountains (formerly the UCC church), 13 East Main Street, Wilmington, with a reception to follow at the Mountaineer Inn on Handle Road, West Dover.
In lieu of flowers, make a donation to the WilmingtonFund VT by filling a check out to “The Wilmington Fund VT” and mailing it to 14 Castle Hill, Wilmington, VT 05363. Credit card donations can be processed through the Preservation Trust of Vermont at http://www.ptvermont.org.