Jaderloon Greenhouse Founder Donald Looney Passes Away
Donald Looney, the co-founder of greenhouse supplier Jaderloon and a long-time member of the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association, passed away on November 28 at the age of 74.
Looney was a 1967 graduate of Clemson University and served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He used his electrical engineering degree at the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G) for four years, before turning his attention to the greenhouse industry.
In the early 1970s, Looney saw a growing demand for greenhouses and related technologies. Seeing the opportunity and having an extraordinary entrepreneurial drive and optimism, he resigned his position with SCE&G. With life-long friend Danny Derrick, 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.
Looney’s numerous patented inventions demonstrated his ability to create simple, practical advancements in greenhouse technologies. Clemson University Professor of Horticulture, Dr. Jeffrey Adelberg, once engaged Looney to engineer and fabricate a manually operated roll-up roof for a research greenhouse that Clemson needed. Instead of a manual system, he proposed an automated roll-up system that the Clemson researchers thought would be impossible to engineer. Using iterative prototyping and testing, Looney engineered and fabricated a unique and functional solution. Dr. Adelberg and his staff were astounded at the simplicity and practicality of the design, which is still in use at Clemson.
In addition to being an entrepreneur and businessman, Looney was active in his community. He was a lifelong member of Union United Methodist Church. For 30 years, he served on the Irmo, SC, planning commission and was an influential member of the task force that named Irmo’s Lake Murray Boulevard.
Services for Looney will be held on Dec. 8. His family is asking for donations to the Union United Methodist Building Fund in lieu of flowers. Click here for the full obituary.