Bandmaster Eric and Joan Loveless: 50 years as soldiers

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by Beth Desplanke, Captain – 

BANDMASTER ERIC AND Joan Loveless are recognized for 50 years of soldiership by Lt. Colonel Don Mowery (r).

Lt. Colonel Don R. Mowery, Southwest divisional commander, joined Tucson Temple Corps in a momentous celebration recently as Bandmaster Eric and Joan Loveless celebrated 50 years as dedicated soldiers in The Salvation Army.

Eric and Joan, both third generation Salvationists, grew up together in Shaw, England, where they were actively involved in the Army’s ministry.

In 1967 the couple came to the U.S. Western Territory and have faithfully served in various corps. Mowery said, “We honor them for making a difference. These are very, very special people. Faithful soldiers of the community where they lived.” He joked that the Lovelesses have moved as often as officers. They have soldiered at Sacramento Citadel, Redding, Reno, Phoenix Citadel, Oakland (now the Concord Corps), San Diego Citadel and Stockton, and since 1996 they have worshipped at the Tucson Temple Corps.

Eric has always been involved in music. He has been bandmaster, songster leader and music coordinator, and has served at 29 music camps in the West. Joan plays the piano and sings beautifully. She is always willing to lead a song, and over the years her ministry has been the ministry of support.

In 1976 Eric was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but neither Eric nor Joan allows that to keep them down or to affect their ministry. Neither uses his illness as an excuse and words of complaint never cross their lips.

Eric and Joan love each other and love the Lord. This love radiates to everyone they come in contact with. It is fitting that when asked what his favorite song was, Eric said, “‘Except I am moved with compassion’.” They are very compassionate and concerned about the well being of others. Mowery stated that Eric and Joan Loveless are the “epitome of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (‘Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…’) a prayer which characterizes their lives.”

The Salvation Army has been blessed and impacted in a mighty way through the ministry of the Lovelesses.


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