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Loyd Coleman, 95, passed away Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at his home in Melba after a short illness. Loyd was born June 22, 1917. His parents, Jim and Eva Coleman, took out land under the reclaimation act in the Melmont/Melba community. Since there was no doctor in the area, his mother went to Loyd's paternal grandparents' home in Meridian, ID for the birth of her son. Mother and son returned to Melba when Loyd was 2 months old.
Loyd attended Melmont Grade School, and then Melba High School. He graduated in 1935. Along with his studies, he also participated in school sports, where he excelled in baseball and wrestling. Following high school, Loyd graduated from the University of Idaho College of Agriculture.
During World War II, Loyd saw active duty as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps 8th Air Force 303rd Bombing squadron, serving in the European Theater. He flew over 30 missions as a tail gunner on B-17 bombers.
After the war, Loyd built a garage and service station in the center of town. In 1971, the garage and service station were sold, but he continued as an agent for Continental Oil Company. In 1976, he purchased the agency and formed the Coleman Oil Company. This business was sold in 1986. Along with his businesses, Loyd also farmed and ranched in the Melba and Wilson communities. Beginning in 1968, Loyd developed one of the first pure bred and full blooded Limousin Cattle herds west of the Rocky Mountains. Loyd was a founding member of the North American Limousin Foundation. He served as President of the Northwest Limousin Association and President of the Idaho Limousin Association.
Loyd was active in the Melba community on many levels. He served as city mayor, and chaired the Melba Business Association. Earlier this year, during Melba's centennial celebration, he was recognized for his contributions to the community, and as its oldest living resident. In 2003, Loyd was recognized and given the distinction of being one of the grand marshalls of the community's annual 4th of July Festivities and Parade. In the early 1960's, he was appointed as commissioner of the newly formed Melba Rural Fire Protection District by the Idaho State Governor. He also was a director of the Reynolds Irrigation District in the Wilson community. Loyd was a member of the American Legion, Post 126.
Loyd is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jerry (nee Chaffin), four sons; Jim I. Coleman (Middleton, ID), Steven C. Brandau (Lilburn, GA), Robert J. Brandau (Atlanta, GA), D. Lynn Coleman (Nampa, ID), four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Martha Bell (nee Fease), his parents, a elder brother and a sister.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, October 15 at the Melba First Ward LDS Chapel, 112 Randolph Ave, Melba. A viewing will be held at the church from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and again from 9 to 9:45 a.m. prior to the services. Arrangements are being provided by Zeyer Funeral Chapel, Nampa. 467-7300
Zeyer Funeral Chapel
83 North Midland Boulevard
Nampa, ID 83651
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Oct. 13, 2012