Harold Loyd Gregory, 85, of Halfway, died Dec. 20, 2005, at Settler’s Park in Baker City.
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Loyd was born on Dec. 19, 1920 in Troy, Texas. He was the youngest — and last surviving — of the 10 children of Thomas and Minnie Gregory. He grew up in Temple, Texas, during the Great Depression and helped his family by working odd jobs, such as delivering telegrams and scraping the mortar off used bricks. His job as a soda jerk, where he could eat all the ice cream he wanted, is where he probably acquired his lifelong love for ice cream.
At the age of 18 he volunteered for the Army and first served with the First Cavalry Division in El Paso, Texas, where he enjoyed horse soldier training. There at a USO dance he met Carlyne Gae Jeter. They were married on Nov. 1, 1941, just about a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
During World War II, Loyd was a First Aid Medic in the Pacific Front, mostly in the Philippines. He had a great admiration for General MacArthur. He remained in the armed services for 20 years, working in hospital administration and as a drill sergeant. During this time, he and his wife and two sons lived in a variety of places, including Japan and France during the 1950s.
While in France he joined the Masonic Lodge and remained a lifelong member. He was very proud to have served his country during his military career. He was a meticulous dresser in uniform; his medals and shoes sparkled in the sun.
After Loyd’s military retirement in 1961, he and his family settled in Dallas, Texas. He worked as a car salesman, insurance clerk, hotel clerk and painting contractor during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1980, Loyd and his wife Gae moved to Halfway, where their son Forest lived. They lived in Halfway for several years before returning to Texas where they helped care for Gae’s mother for a couple of years, and then moved to La Grande. Several years later they moved back to Halfway.
Many locals will remember Gae and Loyd as the couple who walked everywhere in Halfway rather than driving their car. Loyd was a member of the Pine Valley Masonic Lodge and the VFW.
Loyd had a great sense of humor and would share it with everyone he met. He never met a stranger or turned down a bowl of ice cream!
His hobby was keeping a scrapbook of interesting and comical phrases, pictures and drawings he collected from magazines, box labels, etc. During his younger days he was quite the ballroom dancer. During his later years, he suffered with health problems, most prominently Alzheimer’s. He lived at his home in Halfway and was cared for by his wife, Gae, until shortly before his passing.
Loyd was preceded in death by his son, Terry, and his mother, father, three sisters and six brothers.
He is survived by his wife, Gae; his son, Forest, and daughter-in-law, Ruai; his daughter-in-law, Marie, of Allen, Texas; four grandchildren; one step-grandchild and five great-grandchildren.
Those who wish to make contributions in Loyd’s memory may make them to the Shriners Children’s Hospital at the Office of Development, International Shrine Headquarters, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607-1460.
Some of Loyd’s mementos are on display in the window of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home in Halfway for the remainder of this week.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, December 30, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor