Wendell Robert Loso said,” I have lived a wonderful life; I have been very lucky, have loved and been loved.” Wendell, 91, completed his life and left his body on March 13, 2021 after a short illness, with his beloved daughters attending him.
Wendell was born in Plattsburgh, New York on April 29, 1929 to Perley and Myra Loso. He grew up on a dairy farm on Hollister Hill, Plainfield, VT with his parents and his beloved Collie dog, Pooch. His parents called him “Boy”. He attended primary school at Hollister Hill one-room school. During this time he discovered a book, “The Golden Age of Aviation” that began a lifelong love of aircraft that would lead him to his career.
Wendell attended Plainfield High School where his favored activity was performing in multiple theater productions. At this time he also began an appreciation for poetry that would last his whole life. He also started to attend barn dances which fostered a passion for dance and music that also would last throughout his life. He came to be known as “the dancin’ man” later in his life. In 1948 Wendell joined the Vermont National Guard, Green Mountain Boys, where he was assigned to the radio squad and became the squad leader. In 1950 his regiment was placed on Active Duty in the Korean Conflict; he was 21. He would be Sergeant Loso for the next two years and was posted to Germany. As his luck would have it, he was recruited to act in a USO show and spent his time in Germany traveling and entertaining the troops.
In 1949 Wendell met his future wife Betty Brooks. She was walking down a dirt road with friends of his, he picked them up in his car, asked her out and they were inseparable after that. They married in 1952 and in 1953 his first daughter, Dona, was born. His second daughter, Karen was born in 1956 and his son Marc, was born in 1959. In 1954 the family moved to Connecticut as Wendell had procured a job at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, CT. In 1966 Wendell graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Hartford where he had been attending night classes. At Pratt and Whitney, Wendell worked his way up from Machinist to Senior Design Project Engineer over a long and distinguished career. He was thrilled to have worked on the 747, received two patents and became a company representative/spokesperson with The Boeing Corporation.
In the 1970’s Wendell and Betty bought a summer home on Coventry Lake in CT. and the family spent every summer there. He said that along with skiing at Sugarbush that the Coventry years with family and friends were some of the best times of his life. Wendell and Betty had a close group of friends that would travel to fabulous destinations and spent many years together. After retirement in 1992 Wendell and Betty moved to Fort Myers, Florida for the winter months and he learned to play golf and although the weather was wonderful, the game continually vexed him.
In 1994 Betty was diagnosed with cancer and the love of his life passed in 1997. He continued to spend summers in Vermont and winters in Florida and in 2003 he met Bette Gokey at Apple Island Resort and they married in 2005. In 2007 Wendell began to review his life and decided to write his memoir. It is called “Boy” with a subtitle of “From Oxcarts to the Speed of Sound”. He published it in 2009 when he turned 80.
In 2013 Wendell lost his second wife Bette and in 2014 he lost his son Marc. He continued to spend winters in Florida with the help of his daughter Karen who traveled with him and cared for him. In 2008 Wendell moved into Allenwood Assisted Living and then to Converse Home in Burlington, Vermont where the wonderful memory care staff have become family.
A family friend of 50 years said “I will always remember Wendell with his yellow Jaguar XKE... he was so exotic and handsome and engaging.” Daughter Dona says “He loved nothing better than a lively conversation and taught me to debate at an early age. He would choose a topic, let me choose my side and he would take the other whether he believed it or not. The exercise taught me to see different sides of an issue. He loved music and our family home was always filled with all kinds of music. He and I learned to play guitar together and sang together for the rest of his life. He taught me to love the written word, especially poetry and we read together often. He was filled with self-confidence, was very good looking and smartly dressed. We’d be going out somewhere and I would say “Dad you look so handsome” and he would get that twinkle in his hazel eyes and give me that sly smile of his and say “Yes, I know honey”. Daughter Karen shares: “From the clothes he wore and the cars that he drove to how he decorated his home; style was an integral part of his life. I loved that about him. His love of the theater, especially directing and stage management was a passion that he utilized planning family events. We would all smile as he handed out our parts and went on to review our roles, cues, entrances and exits. We loved to go to musicals together, something I will always cherish. I remember often glancing over at him during shows and seeing tears in his eyes as the lead singer sang their heart out. He was a man with a sensitive heart and a deep moral code. He was fiercely faithful and loyal, qualities he imparted to those he loved. I always had his back and he always had mine. I could always count on him for advice regarding career moves, major financial decisions, and matters of the heart. His love and commitment to family were instilled in me and I will carry them in my heart for the rest of my life.”
After Betty passed in 1994 Wendell would always raise his hand and say “We Sail On” to his daughters whenever they would leave after a visit and they would raise their hands and say it back to him. It comes from the daily log that Columbus kept on his journeys. No matter the day’s events he would always end with “We Sail On”. So “Boy”, “Dancin’ Man”, Sergeant Loso, Loved Husband, Beloved Father and Dearest Friend, We Sail On………………
Wendell is survived by his daughter Dona Loso and her partner Richard Esposito, daughter Karen Loso and her daughter, Liana Redmond and grandchildren Alysia Loso, Eric Loso, Chelsea Loso and Rachel Loso. He is predeceased by his first wife, Betty Brooks, his second wife Bette Gokey and son, Marc Loso.
The family would like to thank all at Converse Home who took care of Wendell. He loved you all very much as we do.
As a result of the Covid virus Memorial Services will be scheduled at another time. For more information, please go to https://awrichfuneralhomes.com/ .