On January 9, 2021, Wesley Pyeatt’s body began to fail and on January 19th he passed away, he was 90 years old. During his final days on earth, many of Wes’s friends and family took the opportunity to visit and say goodbye. One of Wes’s close friends stated, life moves very quickly and in the mere snap of our fingers it will be our time to move from this world to the next. He went on to say, it’s important to pay attention to men like Wes, so we can know how to do this right. You see, Wes not only lived well but he also died well.
Wes was born on August 15, 1930, in rural Salmon, Idaho to Max and Calvin Pyeatt and had three sisters, all of which preceded him in death. Wes was born into a rural lifestyle and was the offspring to a tough breed of settlers that came out west, by way of horse drawn wagon, and survived on grit and a never quit attitude. Wes was raised at the tail end of the Great Depression; where most people had very little, embraced hard work, and helped their neighbors without hesitation.
When Wes turned 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy and spent the next five years adventuring and serving in places he never dreamed of during his early years in Salmon. He spent time in San Diego; Virginia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Panama as part of a PBY sea plane squadron . Wes’s squadron regularly flew missions to guard the Panama Canal, as part of the Korean War.
During this time Wes also met the love of his life, Virginia Strong Pyeatt (Ginny). A fellow Navy man introduced Wes and Ginny and after a whirlwind romance they were married in 1952, moving to Bermuda. After about a year in Bermuda, Wes left the Navy and he and Ginny moved to Idaho and then later Montana, where they spent the rest of Wes’s life. Wes and Ginny celebrated 68 years of marriage last April.
After leaving the Navy, Wes wore many different hats. He worked jobs in agriculture, logging, truck driving, and as the Shop Foreman at Missoula Truck Sales, where he remained until retirement at age 65. Throughout his career Wes was known as a man of dependable integrity and he made many lifelong friends. Wes’s genuine love of people allowed for him to develop friendships among folks of all ages.
Wes was passionate about the outdoors. He loved to hunt, fish, hike, and backpack. His love for people and the outdoors led to a joint partnership in founding Boy Scout Troop 1909. Wes served as the Scoutmaster of Troop 1909 for many years, helping literally hundreds of boys develop specific skills, morals, and ethics that have helped them throughout their lives. To date, Troop 1909 has led over 100 boys to the rank of Eagle Scout. Wes’s last backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts was through a portion of the Grand Canyon and took place a month before he turned 80. The boys thought Wes was immortal. On the day Wes passed, the family learned that a number of former Boy Scouts, now in their 40’s, were discussing not only how much Wes meant to them but how under his guidance they learned to be men.
Wes and Ginny had two children. Their daughter, Elizabeth Pyeatt Wahlstrom and their son, Douglas Pyeatt. Elizabeth has two sons and a daughter of her own, her oldest son also has two sons. Douglas and his wife Tracie, have two daughters and a son. Wes regarded his family as his greatest gift and his family was honored to have him lead the way. You see Wes not only lived well but during his last days on earth he was fearlessly brave, continued to joke, and went to heaven while his family was praying over him. He was amazing. We’ll all miss you, Wes and look forward to seeing you again.
To those that would like to contribute to Wes’s memory, please do so by considering a donation to your local Hospice as they were nothing short of miraculous for Wes and his family.