May 20, 1940 — Jan. 28, 2008
MONTROSE — Loyd Wetmore, age 67, passed away on Monday morning, Jan. 28, 2008 at his Montrose residence.
Loyd Arnold Wetmore was born on May 20, 1940 in San Diego, Calif., the son of Loyd Alfred “Bill” and Lila June (Hand) Wetmore. His father was a naval officer and Loyd grew up moving back and forth between the East and West coasts. He attended 13 different schools before graduation from Venice High School in Florida. After high school Loyd went into the Army Reserve under the Reserve Forces Act for six months. He then enrolled in Manatee Junior College in Sarasota, Fla. Financial demands prompted him to join the Air Force in 1961 where he spent the next four years. During his time in the Air Force, Loyd was stationed at Okinawa and there he worked on fire control and radar systems. While in Okinawa, Loyd studied karate with the Japanese and earned a Black Belt. He also learned about an elite special forces group called the Green Berets. He made up his mind to make a career of the military and shortly after being discharged from the Air Force, he enlisted in the Army. Loyd entered the Army in 1965 and attended jump school and special forces training at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He spent five years as a medical officer and earned his Green Beret. Sent back to Okinawa he was then chosen for training in HALO jump school and SCUBA diving school; he spent seven years on jump status. While in Okinawa he was selected for pre-mission training for Thailand. There he trained and managed mobile medical teams for the Department of State Overseas Mission to Thailand. He spent 1968 and 1969 in Thailand working among the Tao and Mao hill tribes.
In 1972 Loyd applied for and was accepted to the Army/Baylor University Physician Assistants school at William Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. The Army contracted with Baylor University to give college credit to the Army students being trained as Physician Assistants. He was first chosen to attend the first class of physician assistants being trained and graduated from Baylor with an Associates Degree. Loyd was truly on the cutting edge of the profession. He was then transferred to Germany and remained there for the next three years. Foreign languages came easy to Loyd and he spoke German, Japanese, and Spanish fluently and several Asian and Germanic languages slightly. He was also a natural teacher and taught surgical management of gunshot wounds to nurses at the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, Texas. He was recommended as an instructor at the US Army Physician Assistant School.
Loyd was dedicated to his country and a good soldier, this, along with a rare and unusual intelligence earned him promotions rapidly. He was awarded the Meritous Service Medal and in 1981 honorably discharged from the Army with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-2).
For a time after retiring from the Army, Loyd practiced medicine at the Iowa State Prison, then in 1983 moved to Las Vegas, Nev. In Las Vegas, he worked in an occupational medical clinic treating on the job injuries. He became very skilled in hand surgeries and took great pride in his work.
An avid reader with a keen memory made Loyd an unbeatable Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy player. He was interested in everything from "epitomology" to how to field dress a rabbit. He was never arrogant about his knowledge and would jokingly say he was "a renowned authority on lots of stuff." But nonetheless, he was a teacher and everyone who knew him learned something from him; he was also an intent listener. He enjoyed motorcycling and studied the mechanics of motorcycles. Target shooting and small game hunting were also some of his interests.
Loyd is survived by his wife, Helen, of Montrose, Colo., and one brother, Norman Wetmore of Bradenton, Fla. He is also survived by two sons from a former marriage to Pamela Purvis Wetmore: Eric and Chris (Shannon Richardson) Wetmore; four grandchildren: Liam, Ailish, Valkyre and Camille Wetmore all of San Antonio, Texas; three surviving step-children: Joe Esser and daughter-in-law Christine (Klein) Esser of Las Vegas, Nev.; Sherry Roberts and Glenn Esser of Olathe, Colo.; three step-granddaughters, Kendra and Mandy Esser and Jennifer Roberts, all of Olathe. His parents preceded him in death.
Loyd's ashes will be buried in Del Norte, Colo. in the summer near the Rio Grande River and the Old Spanish Trail. He like the old cemetery on San Francisco Creek and will rest there peacefully. He is with our Savior now and in the hearts and memories of those who loved him.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Montrose Senior Transportation, In Loving Memory of Loyd Wetmore, 121 North Park Avenue, Montrose, CO 81401.
Visit our website, sign the online register and send condolences to his family at http://www.sunsetmesafuneraldirectors.com">www.sunsetmesafuneraldirectors.com.
Arrangements are being handled under the care, direction and have been entrusted to Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors, 155 Merchant Drive, Montrose, CO 81401 (970) 240-9870.