Loyd Elroy DeuPree III, or "Papa," as he was known to his 18 grandchildren, was born in 1927, one half-block north of The Memorial Hospital in Craig. He graduated from Craig High School in 1945. Thus began a lifetime of service and dedication to the people of Craig.
He actively served as a member of the Lions Club International and was awarded membership in the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship, the foundation's highest honor, for humanitarian work. He was a faithful and active member of the First Congregational Church.
Although these activities represent Loyd's dedication to the community, it is the impact he had on the individuals in this community that is most memorable. Loyd was the type of person who would go out of his way to lend a hand to anyone in need. While working as a Realtor, he was known to go above and beyond the call of duty, often assisting families on moving day and being the first to welcome new families the community. As his longtime friend so aptly put it, "Any job Loyd did, he gave it his best." Loyd loved life and had an infectious sense of humor.
In May 1954, Loyd married Charlene Jones, who preceded him in death in 1981. To support his family, he worked two jobs and developed a strong work ethic, which carried forth for the rest of his life. Early in his career, he worked at Greeley Gas, helping to build a culture of service in the organization. On weekends, he turned into the jazziest sax player in Moffat County. A proud member of the jazz band the Swingcopaters he made many community dances the social event of the month. One night, the newly formed band played "Good Night Irene" repeatedly in a variety of tempos huddled behind chicken wire, in case the crowd caught on and became dissatisfied with the music.
Many of the lessons and philosophies that prepared his children and grandchildren for an honorable life, occurred at the local fishing hole, around a barbecue feast or on a quiet morning walk with pauses to collect cans for recycling.
Since 1983, Loyd shared his life with Elaine. He always referred to her as his bride, and they took advantage of every opportunity to travel, share in the weddings and sporting events of their grandchildren and foster lifelong friendships.
The legacy of a man like Loyd cannot be summed up in a few simple lines or even a few pages of text. His legacy lives within each of us in our hearts. His spirit is with us with every good deed, act of generosity and each time we participate in family gatherings. Today, we celebrate a life lived well and know that the world is better because he was part of it.
Loyd is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Craig; children, Karen (George) Hatfield, of Pagosa Springs, Cindy (David) Staggs, of Englewood, Blair (Cresh) Wilson, of Craig, Blake ( Jeannie) Wilson, of The Colony, Texas, and Von ( Molly) Wilson, of Steamboat Springs; brother, Don ( Marilyn) DeuPree, of Montrose; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.
Memorial Donations may be made to the Craig Lions Club or The First Congregational Church in Craig in care of Grant Mortuary.