Rulon LaMont Stuart, an icon in Wells, passed away November 30, 2019 at his home surrounded by family.
He was born June 13, 1934 in Pocatello, Idaho. He was a son of Rulon James Stuart and Maude Howell Stuart. LaMont loved to help his father in the beet and potato fields of their farm in Chubbuck, ID. He milked cows before getting on the school bus each morning. When he moved on to college, his father sold the cows. Farming was always in his blood and in his retirement years enjoyed gardening.
LaMont graduated from Pocatello High School and enjoyed reunions and keeping in touch with friends from his youth. He received his B S Degree from Idaho State College in 1956.
LaMont married Francis Moates on June 27, 1956. They became the parents of three children: Mike, Christina and Eric Stuart. His marriage to Frances ended in 1967.
After graduating from pharmacy school, LaMont and his family moved to Forks, Washington to work for Forks Pharmacy. Six months later he moved to Salt Lake City to work for Grand Central Drug. In 1963 he and his parents purchased the Wells Pharmacy in Wells, Nevada. Later on the store included a Western Auto Store.
As a young man LaMont joined the National Guard. He attained the rank of Captain in the 328th General Reserve Hospital Army Reserve.
He married Interior Designer Yvonne van Thiel-Berghuys in 1977. This marriage brought step-sons Lee and Robert Woolsey into LaMont’s life. LaMont and Yvonne purchased the building called Toombs Garage/apartment building in downtown Wells. The building then was no longer a garage but housed a grocery store called Frontier Market that the Stuarts bought from Bob Larson, renaming the building Frontier Apartments, together with Frontier Market.
LaMont enjoyed being a member of an investment club and belonging to the Wells Chamber of Commerce. Along with friends, Gene Pengelly and Paul Moschetti, LAPAGE Inc. was born. The three bought race horses who ran in national horse races. LaMont patented the Punch-n-Pour, a safe, easy way to open Sego canned milk. He was also instrumental in developing the Dale ski boot.
In his early years as the Wells Pharmacist, he hired someone to construct an old west style “Medicine Wagon”. The flat black conveyance with the words “Doc Stuart’s Drugs”. As of today this wagon is still an interesting feature in many Wells’ parades.
Along with other businessmen in the community, LaMont was actively involved in the potential development of the Tent Mountain Ski Resort. These men enjoyed many spirited discussions as they led the community in a vision for the future. Chimney Rock Golf Course was one result.
In 1993 the Stuarts built a new grocery store on Humboldt Avenue. Stuart’s Food Town was a fresh new store in town. Wells Pharmacy had a new home within this space. Yvonne managed the grocery store.
while LaMont took care of the pharmacy. LaMont was a very good businessman. Over the years, he co- owned a Laundromat, movie theater, an auto parts store, and a gas station, was involved with the grocery store along with his primary role as the town’s pharmacist.
Two sets of skills defined LaMont’s life. Along with his business acumen, he was an athletic man. He excelled at snow skiing and in his youth, he was employed as a ski instructor at Targee National Forest Ski Resort. Golf was a passion. Chimney Rock Golf Course was his second home. He was Club Champion, Senior Club Champion and Match Play Champion, all several times over. While LaMont was modest to the core, he could have bragged about his multiple holes in one.
His dedication, for 50 years, to his profession was a defining role. He had a heart for the people he served. He would meet a client at the pharmacy in the middle of the night to re-fill a prescription for a sick child. He knew his clients’ medical history, often warning them about taking prescriptions that didn’t work together. This empathy made him a beloved icon.
LaMont was preceded in death by his parents, brother Phillip, and son Eric, with whom he shared a birthday.
Survivors include his beloved wife Yvonne, children: Michael(Donna) Stuart, Christina (John) Tueller, Lee (Jill) Woolsey, Bob (Lisa), a lot of grandchildren and great grandchildren, and a sister, LuAnn (Bob) Adams. Lamont Stuart will live long in the hearts of a grieving community.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Wells. Interment will follow at the Wells Cemetery. The Celebration of Life will continue at the Chimney Rock Club House at 1 p.m.
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