2012-01-05 / Obituaries


A remarkable life

He was born in 1916 and was called Shorty. He said he never minded as he could accomplish most any task he set for himself. He grew up in Little Sioux, Iowa where he and his brother, Joe, fished and ice skated on the Little Sioux River. His father was mayor of the town and owned a small trucking business. His ICC# was 22. He hired a crew to haul cattle and hogs to the stockyard in Omaha, Neb., sometimes at 20 degrees. He grossed $500 per day until the Depression.

Shorty’s mother kept the books and raised a big garden. Shorty learned to drive at 14 years old, (no licensed required) and quit school to drive his father’s trucks. Years later he worked at Lockheed Aircraft in Los Angeles before and during World War II, then at Los Angeles schools as a sheet metal worker. He went to night school four years to earn his high school diploma. Ronald Reagan was the commencement speaker to the largest graduating class in the state’s history at the Hollywood Bowl.

He retired to Mariposa in 1978. His passion was travel and he owned numerous cars, trucks and R.V.s of all sorts which he maintained himself. He owned an all original 1965 poppy red mustang which was driven in the Mariposa County Fair parade. He made lasting friends wherever he traveled and kept in touch, one former co-worker he loved like a brother and called Jellybean.

He and I were introduced by a mutual friend in 1995. I was impressed by his upbeat youthful outlook and cheerful manner which belied his 79 years. We announced our engagement at his 80th birthday party in 1996. We both felt blessed to have a second chance for a life partner after losing our previous spouses. We were married in Carson City, Nev. on Aug. 10, 1996, after which we traveled the U.S., Canada, Australia and a Little Sioux homecoming to meet his old friends for an all-day celebration barbeque tractor pull and a small parade. Shorty loved to drive and never had an accident. He said he kept his eyes on the left front wheel of any approaching vehicle and an escape route to swerve. He once had a tire blow on the freeway at 70 mph, and he brought the car to a safe stop on the median. I called him “Cool Hand Luke” after that. He drove to Fresno on Oct. 10, 2011, for the last time and passed away on Nov. 13, 2011. He loved his family and was proud of his namesake grandson, a young Marine.

He left a lasting impression on all who knew him, including me, his wife of 15 years. His name was Allen R. Loyd.

Geneva Loyd

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