Wayne Tuttle
Wayne Tuttle
Wayne Tuttle

Obituary of Wayne Tuttle

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It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Lloyd "Wayne" Tuttle, longtime resident of Tomslake, British Columbia, on Saturday, January 15th, 2022 at the age of 78 years. No formal service will be held at this time. For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of WAyne  to the Tomslake and District Volunteer Fire Department or the Sky Soldiers Foundation Scholarship Fund (173d ABN BDE) https://skysoldiersfoundation.org/donate/donation-options/

 

Lloyd “Wayne” Tuttle was born in Newport, Oregon, on September 21, 1943, to Lloyd and Ruth Tuttle, joining his sisters, Mary and Martha.  At the age of 3, his family moved back to California and purchased a farm in the Kerman area.  They had a dairy and did custom haying as well.  His father was a great believer in work ethic and, at age 6, Wayne was helping the haying operation by running a rake.  Through the years, he picked cotton, rolled raisins in the vineyards, and helped with all the farming chores.  While in California, the family added two more members, brother Dale and sister Angie.

 

He attended school in Kerman and graduated in 1963.  During his school years, he participated in track and field and FFA activities, plus pulling a lot of hijinks with his friends.  During his senior year, he set the state high school pole-vaulting record. 

 

In 1963, his family moved to Idaho where they had purchased a ranch in Albion.  Wayne stayed behind with his uncle and family and finished his senior year and helped with their farming activity.  He then joined his family in Idaho.  Working there, he helped his dad on the ranch as well as working for neighbors who were farmers. 

 

In 1965, Wayne was drafted into the US Army.  After basic training and AIT, he volunteered for Airborne training at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  When his training was finished, he was sent to Vietnam and joined the 173d ABN BDE C/C0 2/503 Infantry as a rifleman in June 1966.  He earned a Purple Heart on January 10, 1967.  The unit made the only Unit Combat Jump during the Vietnam War on February 22, 1967, and that combat jump star was one of his most prized possessions.  Other awards included the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/2 Bronze Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device, Combat Infantry Badge and Army Commendation Medal.   His Unit was also awarded Presidential Unit Citations and Army Unit Citations recognizing their contribution to the effort.  The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry as well as the Vietnamese Jump Wings were also awarded to the Unit.  He became the Platoon RTO and then the Company RTO during his time in the Unit.  Upon returning to the United States at the end of June 1967, he was assigned to the 29th Inf 197th Inf BDE where his duties were to be the Honor Guard for the Burial Detail out of Ft. Benning, Georgia.  He returned home to Idaho in December 1967.  The brotherhood of the 173rd has remained with him all his days since.  These were the defining moments of his life and influenced everything he has done after that time.

 

An acquaintance with Iva Gerrard that was incidental in 1964, became a letter-writing friendship, and upon his return from Vietnam became even stronger.  They were married in the little church in Albion, Idaho, on April 19, 1968, with Iva`s dad and Wayne`s cousin presiding.  With all its ups and downs, the bond may have wavered but was never broken.

 

Shortly after they were married, Wayne and Iva bought a small farm in the Paul, Idaho, area.  They bought weaner pigs to raise to slaughter weight and started a feed lot for cattle to accommodate the ranch his family had in Albion along with the purchases of weaner calves. He also worked in the processing plants of the area as well as driving truck and doing custom farming.  Innovation was his thing and he built so many things to ease the work.

 

In 1970, their daughter, Lauri Dawn, was born.  Elaina Renae joined the family in 1971.  Shortly after, they added to the farm`s size by purchasing a neighboring small farm. 

 

In the summer of 1973, they went exploring for possibilities and ended up in the Peace River Area.  They went back to Idaho, put in the paperwork to immigrate to Canada, sold the farms and moved.  Landing in the Tomslake area in February 1974 was a little bit of a shock, but it all worked out.  Here they purchased a ranch and over next few years, the family spent time clearing the land, expanding the ranch, and developing a herd of cattle.

 

While he loved his daughters, he wished for a son.  In 1976, he got that wish.  All three of his children loved the outdoors and all the activities, especially fishing, but David became his work partner and hunting partner at a very young age. 

 

In 1980, when interest rates skyrocketed and cattle prices hit rock bottom, a choice was made to sell the ranch and concentrate their efforts on the land clearing efforts of I & I construction.  A few years later, the company expanded to Silviculture work for various mills throughout BC, Alberta and the Yukon, and the B.C. Department of Forestry.  Wayne`s mechanical abilities were put to work developing a split plow to help with erosion and replanting.  The company was privileged to be able to do some of the reforestation research in the area. 

 

Their home has always been in Tomslake – with just one move to their current home, bringing them closer to the community.

 

In 1997, the decision was made to sell the equipment and just take it easy for a while.  Wayne and Iva purchased a motorhome and spent 17 weeks travelling 17000 miles visiting 35 states, 4 Provinces and 1 Territory.  During the trip, he enjoyed the company of so many of his buddies from Vietnam and family that was stretched far and wide.  And yes, he got in fishing every chance he could. 

 

Returning home, he worked for HF Nodes Construction for a few years as an operator.  Then he decided that he still needed to be busy and started selling firewood.

 

He and Iva did a lot of travelling – just for short stays – over the next few years.  He was always available to those around him that needed a hand but remained a very private person until his passing.  Many days were spent at 6 Mile Bay on Williston Lake where he loved to get away from it all – even just by himself – and fish, his boat was his prized possession along with his 1985 pickup.  Both were beaten up but kept doing their job.  Kind of a reflection of the man he was.

 

He will be missed – his memories are precious.  But we know that he is with those that passed before him onto Troopers Green.  

 

He is survived by his wife, Iva Tuttle: his 3 children Lauri, Elaina, and David (Bobbie-Ann Weipert); his 4 grandchildren Joshua Butera, Aaron Butera, Abbygayle Quin, and Marley Tuttle; his brother, Dale Tuttle of Wasilla, Alaska and his sister Angie (Steve) Van-Vliet of Pocatello, Idaho, numerous nieces, and nephews, and extended family and friends.  Whether he openly showed it or not, you were loved.

 

He is predeceased by his mother Ruth Hilliard Tuttle, his father Lloyd E. Tuttle, and his sisters Mary Long and Martha Boyles.

 

He passed away at home with family at his side on January 15, 2022.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Tomslake and District Volunteer Fire Department or the Sky Soldiers Foundation Scholarship Fund (173d ABN BDE) https://skysoldiersfoundation.org/donate/donation-options/

 

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium 

A Memorial Tree was planted for Wayne
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
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