Gaylord August Betcher - Mazeppa
Gaylord August Betcher, 93, died Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.
Gaylord was born March 17, 1918, to Carl "J.W." and Marie "Mayme" (Lohman) Betcher. He attended school in the Lother district and graduated from Mazeppa Public School in 1939. Gaylord was a WWII veteran. He was drafted in October 1941 at Fort Snelling, from there he went to Camp Callan, Calif., to Orlando, Fla., and then to Camp Stewert, Ga. Gaylord then went to Fort Dix, N.J., where he was processed to be shipped overseas. He boarded a ship called Anna Arundel where he was at sea for 14-15 days; he eventually landed in Oran, North Africa. From there he went through North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and marched through France and Germany with the 63rd Infantry Division. He was overseas for three years.
Gaylord was a farmer and proud of his farm on Trout Brook. He was a member of Mazeppa Legion Post #588, and in October 1946 the Mazeppa Legion was organized with WWI and WWII veterans and Gay was a charter member. In 1955, he was the vice commander and commander the following year. He was adjutant for 16 years. He was also a member of VFW Post #5727 in Zumbrota, Mazeppa Veterans Honor Guard, vice-commander of Wabasha Co. Legion for two years, commander of the Wabasha Co. Legion in 1957, WWII Roundtable speaker in September 2009, Zumbrota Valley Sportsmen’s Club where he was the treasurer for 15 years and chaired the youth firearms safety training when it first started, Minnesota State Sheriff’s Association, American Dairy Association (ADA), Mazeppa Dairy Association, Mazeppa Butter Festival Committee and cookie judge in the 1960s (he remembered that Betty Liffrig won with a Butter Cookie recipe), president of Resident Council at Golden Living Rochester West Nursing Home and he was a member of the Mazeppa Area Historical Society. Gaylord was a true historian and loved to write and tell stories.
Gaylord is survived in death by three nephews, Gary (Kathryn) Engler of Cold Spring, Randy (Marcie) Betcher of Minnetonka and Tom (Kathy Erickson) Betcher of Prior Lake; two nieces, Carla Engler of St. Cloud and Lisa (Leigh) Meadows of Auburn, Calif.; one sister-in-law, Doris Betcher; many extended nieces, nephews and cousins; and extra special family friends, Mike Holtorf and Helen Reiland-Peter. Gaylord is preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Mayme Betcher; four siblings, Bernard Betcher, Marion Lindeblom, Harold Betcher and Mildred Betcher-Engler; and one niece, Lori Wething.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mazeppa, with the Rev. Alan Horn officiating.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at Mahn Family Funeral Home-Larson Chapel and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Zumbrota Cemetery.
Memorials preferred to Mazeppa American Legion, Mazeppa Veterans Honor Guard and the Mazeppa Area Historical Society.