Donald Franklin Looney, Sr.
November 14, 1944 – November 28, 2018
Donald Franklin Looney, Sr. of Irmo, S.C., our beloved father, brother, uncle, and friend, entered the triumphant glory of God on November 28, 2018. A memorial service celebrating Don’s life will be held at 2:00pm on December 8, 2018 at Union United Methodist Church, 7582 Woodrow St, Irmo, S. C.
Don, the son of the late Johnnie Walter Looney, Sr. and Sarah Nunamaker Looney, is survived by his sons, Donald, Jr. and Thomas Looney and their mother Judy Moore; two brothers, Johnnie W. Looney, Jr (Nancy Flowers) and Charles Looney (Helen Brabham); and by two sisters, Elizabeth (Beth) Looney Richardson (Gene) and Suzanne Looney Newell (William) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his youngest brother, Dennis C. Looney, Sr.
Don was born on November 14, 1944 and reared in Irmo, S.C. In 1963, Don entered Clemson College with his boyhood friend and cousin Danny Derrick. Within a few days, they met another freshman, Charlie Jager of Charleston. The three became fast friends, and combining their names, Jager, Derrick, and Looney, they formed the “Jaderloon” brotherhood that would last a lifetime. After graduating from Clemson in 1967 with an electrical engineering degree, Don served for four years and was a captain in the United States Air Force. He then joined South Carolina Electric and Gas Company as an electrical engineer, and, soon after, met the requirements to become a licensed professional engineer.
In the early 1970’s, Don and Danny saw a growing demand for greenhouses and related technologies. Seeing the opportunity and having an extraordinary entrepreneurial drive and optimism, Don resigned his position with SCE&G. With Danny, he co-founded a greenhouse engineering company that would become known worldwide for its innovative greenhouse technologies and services. In 1976, the company was incorporated as Jaderloon. Don’s numerous patented inventions demonstrated his ability to create simple, practical advancements in greenhouse technologies.
In addition to being the quintessential entrepreneur and businessman, Don was active in his community. He was a lifelong member of Union United Methodist Church. For 30 years, he served on Irmo’s planning commission and was an influential member of the task force that named Irmo’s Lake Murray Boulevard. Don served on BB&T bank’s advisory board for 15 years, was a member of Ruritan, and was an admiral in the Irmo Navy.
Despite Don’s passion for sports, business, engineering, and his community, his greatest love and achievement are not found in any of these endeavors. Don’s greatest love was his two sons, Don and Tom. His greatest achievement was being their loving father. He was very proud of his boys and had them with him at every opportunity. In Irmo, friends would regularly see Don with his sons in church, at restaurants, and in the gym. Don patiently taught them greenhouse job skills at Jaderloon. Outside Irmo, Don took his sons to his greenhouse work sites, to Atlanta Braves baseball games, and to Clemson football, basketball, and baseball games.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that you donate to the Union United Methodist Church building fund.