Lyle Burton Osterhout
Lyle Burton Osterhout
April 7, L937 a son was born in the Salvation Army Hospital in Boise, ldaho, to HazelSavage. Lyle Burton was given away to a childless couple, Merlin Benjamin (Dutch) and Alta (Ross) Osterhout, of Burley, ldaho. lt was not until the boy was about nine years old he was told what he was. He carried that stigma until Dutch died. His mother remarried immediately, the brother of Dutch. Thus sending Lyle out on his own. He joined the Air Force and was sent to Korea, whereupon it was found he was only sixteen. Being sent back to the states, he acquired a note from Alta and rejoined the Air Force in 1953. ln 1945 he married Donna Joann Williams of Burley. They had five children.
He had many tours of duty in his twenty-two years of service. Starting at Fordland, Missouri, then lceland and all over the states, and soon was sent to Vietnam. He had four tours of duty in Vietnam over fourteen years. Being Always requested by (four-star), General George Brown, as a “hatchet-man.” During one of these missions his plane was shot down over Laos where he remained alone in the Plain of Jars for eight days and nights. At last, he was recovered and soon returned to the states, whereupon he requested Alaska being his last assignment. Aftertwenty-two years, in 1975 he retired as a commissioned E3 Captain. During his stateside duties, he went to school and acquiring his BA in Business and Marketing, then his Masters in Business Administration from Western New England College in Massachusetts.
The war had left quite an impact on Lyle, and he enjoyed the wilds of the “outback” of Alaska. Because of his frugal childhood, he’d always brought wild game to the table. Now again, there was plenty of that in his new homeland. He built and flew two of his own airplanes, taking his family fishing and hunting. Besides the salmon at the coast, he brought in caribou, moose, Sitka deer, and once a walrus when the Eskimos he’d befriended, took him on a hunt. While in Vietnam, he helped the local farmers and killed a tiger that had ravaged their crops and children. There were times his expertise came in handy, facing an enormous grizzly he came upon in Alaska. An 8 x 13 hangs on our wall as a reminder that Vietnam was not the only place there were dangers.
After his wife and three of his children passed away, he became more of a reclose, looking for a warmer spot for the winters. Going to Arizona, he asked around about housing and was sent to the home of Sharon Norton for information. At once, they recognized each other. They had ” gone steady” in the ninth grade. By this time she had lost her spouse as well. lt was nine months later they married in September 2008.
They enjoyed over ten years together before the wounds of war caught up with him. Living in Harrison for their summers, & traveling to Alaska, or new sights to see, ending up in Quartzsite for the winters. They enjoyed building, hiking, traveling, eating out, and seeing the sights and reminiscing of the “old” days.
It was only thirteen days in a Memory Care Center in Coeur d’Alene, the hospital, then Schneidmiller Hospice House, until he had seen enough of lifes’ days. He always greeted his fellow Veterans warmly and thought of them as brothers.
Surviving are two daughters, Annette Blaine of Tennessee, and Lori Kay Epler of Spokane. The three siblings he was raised with; Kay Heffington, Scott and Larry Osterhout all of Burley, ldaho. His six step children, Wendy and Dick Stephenson, Delores and Ron Dionne, Clay and Jackie Norton, Jim Norton and Evelyn, Linda and Randy Appell, and Bill Norton, all here in ldaho, as well as numerous grand, great grand, and great-great grandchildren.
A graveside memorial service will be June 26, 2019, at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries, ID.
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