Clyde Raymond Pethtel
T/5 in Signal Co, Special : Radio C
Military occupational specialty: 776 (radio operator, low speed)
Born 1922 in ID, Died 2013
County of residence at enlistment: Canyon County, ID
Other residence(s): Nampa, ID; Meridien, ID
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: semiskilled mechanics and repairmen, n.e.c.
Ray Pethtel was born on February 3, 1922 in Nampa, ID. He was the oldest of four children born to a farm family. His mother died when he was five years old; his father remarried two years later, giving Ray a much younger sister.
Ray graduated from Kuna High School in 1939, playing baseball throughout his high school career. He worked on the farm with his father, and later at Sears Roebuck, and continued playing amateur ball. He was drafted by the semi-pro Boise Pilots as a catcher, but was unable to play with them due to the onset of the war.
Ray registered for the draft on February 16, 1942, and enlisted on July 21. He became a radio operator and was eventually assigned to the Signal Company Special. When stationed at Camp Crowder, in the fall of 1942, the proud son of Idaho wrote to his parents that "Missouri sure doesn't compare with Idaho in any way."
He was discharged from the Army on October 21, 1945 with the rank of T/5, after seeing service in Europe during the war.
While he was stationed at Pine Camp, he met Maude Betty Jareo, a local woman from Watertown, NY. They married on December 23, 1946, two days after her divorce became final.
Ray continued to farm until 1955 when he and Maude and their three children: Bill, Sally, and Pat, moved to Meridian, ID. He worked at the sawmill and the sugar factory before taking a job at Mangums Furniture in Boise (about 12 miles east of Meridian) as a major appliance repairman. According to his obituary, "he always said he knew every house in the area and what kind of appliance they had." He retired in 1984, but continued to serve his old customers for years to come.
Ray was active in the Highline Star Grange in Nampa and the Agrarian Club and held many leadership positions in those organizations. He started bowling in 1959, and continued until his health would no longer permit it. He was inducted into the Boise Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
During his wife's 11-year final illness, he spent thousands of hours with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, helping at the Life Care Center of Boise. Maude died in 2001.
Ray's obituary says of him that he was known as "Pappy" to many who knew him. He "was a man who if you met him you had a friend forever. No matter what life gave him, he faced it with a smile and a joke."
Ray died on December 10, 2013 and is buried at Meridian Cemetery in Meridian, ID.
1942 in uniform in 1942 newspaper article referenced below
1942 draft card
1942 enlistment record
1942 article in the Idaho Statesman about his military service
1945 article in the Idaho Statesman listing his discharge from the Army
1947 article in Watertown Daily Times (NY) re his marriage
1955 US city directory, Meridian ID
1991 father's obituary
1993 US public records index
2013 Find a Grave record (includes obituary)