Dr. Huitt with his family.
Dr. Huitt with his young patient from an early trip to Haiti.
(August 7, 1930 - January 17, 2015)
The Lusk Herald
January 21, 2015
Doctor Carlton D. Huitt passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends at the Niobrara Health and Life Center on January 17th, 2015. He is survived by his daughters Glenna Shriver, Dana Gaye Hallock, Carla Huitt, Lisa Healey, and son Carlton D. Huitt, Jr.; and grandchildren Michael Shriver, Danna Shriver, Rebekah Shriver, Lindsey Healey-Pollack, Michael Healey, Kristin Healey, Patrick Corcoran and Sean Corcoran.
He was born August 7th, 1930 in Altus, OK to parents A.D. (Toliver) Huitt and Albert Belton Huitt. He grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He graduated from Farmington High School in Farmington, AR. He moved to Washington where he married his first wife Nadine Wilhite. After moving to California they had two daughters Glenna and Dana Gaye. He began working as a carpenter while attending college.
In 1952, he relocated to Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He married his second wife, Betty Milligan and they relocated to Little Rock, AR where he enrolled in the University Of Arkansas School Of Medicine. In 1956 he joined the United States Air Force. Their daughter Carla was born. He received his medical degree in 1958 and later became board certified in Family Practice and Geriatrics.
After completing his residency at Lackland AFB, Doctor Huitt transferred to Eilson AFB in Fairbanks, AK where he served as Flight Surgeon and Assistant Chief of Staff from 1959-1963. Their daughter Lisa and son Carlton Jr. were born.
After completing military service in 1963, with the rank of Captain, Doctor Huitt opened a private practice in Chico, CA until relocating to Lusk, WY in 1976. Carlton and Margylou Fernau married in 1982. He provided medical care in Lusk, Edgemont, SD and Magnum, OK until 1987. Doctor Huitt then began a career as a staff physician with the VA, working in Anchorage, AK and Hot Springs, SD. He retired from the VA after 20 years of service. During this time he was also the physician at the Wyoming Women's Center and performed flight physicals for the FAA.
Doctor Huitt was a dedicated physician who loved serving his patients, community and volunteering his expertise to medical missions in Haiti. In 2008, he was honored by The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences College of Medicine for 50 years of service.
He enjoyed flying, fishing, hunting, and downhill skiing. The Lusk ranch, where he raised Arabian horses, was a very special place to him. He was thrilled to have his family visit and experience ranch life.
Memorial Services will be held Thursday January 22nd, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at Pier Funeral Home, 101 West 4th Street, Lusk, WY with a reception to follow at Niobrara Senior Center, 611 East 6th Street, Lusk, WY.
Memorial contributions in Doctor Carlton D. Huitt's name may be made to Niobrara Health and Life Center, P.O. Box 780, Lusk, WY, 82225 or the Niobrara Senior Center, P.O. Box 928, Lusk, WY, 82225.
The Lusk Herald
January 28, 2015
A Tribute to Doctor Carlton Huitt
by Lacey Brott
The town of Lusk awoke to the sad news that one of their own had passed on Sat., Jan. 17. Dr. Carlton Huitt was a legend, so to speak, in Niobrara County. He came to Lusk in 1976 to fulfill his fancy for an Arabian horse ranch. Niobrara Health and Life Center also had a position become available. His good friends Venus and Ruth Kilmer, were instrumental in bringing the doctor to town. He purchased some land north of Lusk, on 28 road, where it was a convenience for him to come to town and take care of his patients, and yet still be able to ride his horses. According to his closest family members, his children, Dr. Huitt had an energy to his life that not even they could keep up with. "He could out do us in everything," recalls the Doctor's youngest daughter, Lisa Healey. "We were always tired and done, and he could just keep going and going. He had an endless amount of energy."
The Dr. had many other talents and hobbies in life other than being a doctor, although, that was his identity. He loved anything that had to do with the great outdoors. "When we would come to Wyoming for our family vacations, he would love to take our kids and do all the things they couldn't do because we lived in the city or over seas. He had two stocked ponds, where he would take the grandkids fishing. I remember once he tried to teach us how to water ski, which didn't go so well. He also loved downhill skiing, and hunting," said Healey.
Being a doctor was what made Huitt's life whole. As a child, who came from extremely impoverish conditions, Dr. Huitt was a self made man. He graduated from Farmington High School in Arkansas. He attended college in California, then moved back to Ark. to finish his classes, and enroll in the University of Arkansas School Of Medicine. He drove a blood bank truck at night, and was also a carpenter, to pay his own way through college. In 1958, he received his medical degree, and became a Board Certified doctor in family practice and geriatrics. In 1956, he joined the Air Force, where he completed his residency at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, then transferred to Eilson Air Force Base in Fairbanks Alaska. There, he was a flight surgeon, and assistant Chief of Staff. After his military service was complete, the doctor moved to California, where he opened up his doors to his own private clinic. In 1976, he found himself at home, here in Lusk, where he provided his medical services until 1987. Dr. Huitt then worked for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Hot Springs, So. Dak., and in Anchorage, AK for 20 years, while still living and providing the citizens of Lusk with medical care. He was a public health officer, and many people would call him, day or night, and ask him for his medical expertise. He simply loved to give out advice to anyone willing to listen. "One time, in particular," recalls Healey, "My dad was being interviewed for a newspaper. He asked the reporter how long she had had Grave's Disease. She was confused, and not sure what he was talking about, and he told her that she had the disease. She went to be checked out by her local doctor and sure enough, she was diagnosed." With his history in Air Force service, the doctor was also able to provide flight physicals for the Federal Aviation Association. "Few doctors in this region conducted them, and unfortunately he was not computer savvy. The FAA started to hold them online, and every 30 days, the password would need to be changed for security reasons. That was a little hard for him to grasp." said Healey.
In the later years of his life, Dr. Huitt became known for his philanthropy work in Haiti. Over ten trips to the country were made by the doctor. His most memorable one, no doubt, was when the infamous, magnitude-7.0 earthquake of 2010 crumbled some of Haiti's most significant tourist attractions. A catastrophic event, the doctor had traveled there for a routine, return trip. In The Lusk Herald archives, he describes the devastation as 'unbelievable'. Luckily, none of the other associates he was traveling with, were injured. The clinics, held by the group of doctors volunteering their time and efforts, were free. The Haitians could not afford to pay, and Dr. Huitt was finally able to afford to go on the trips. He would pay for his own plane tickets and living costs, and in return have the feeling, in essence, that he was contributing to society. "My dad felt their greatest need was a better health care program, where they could do vaccines, and just overall care of health concerns," Healey said.
Dr. Huitt was awarded many times throughout his medical career. One, in particular, from the "Thomas Ebner Leadership Award acknowledging his extraordinary excellence and dedication in leadership in the continued demonstration of unparalleled commitment to distinguished leadership on behalf of American Association of Physician Specialists and American Board of Physicians Specialists. He was also given a "Certificate of Appreciation in Recognitions of Volunteer Service to the Haitians" following the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. Dr. Huitt was also, at one time, the President of the Wyoming Arabian Horse Association, and a member of the National Arabian Horse Association, where he was honored for his years of service.
It's no question that Dr. Huitt was an extraordinary man, "He loved Lusk, and serving his community. He loved being a doctor. He will be missed by many." said Healey.
Dr. Huitt is survived by his daughters Glenna Shriver, Dana Gaye Hallock, Carla Huitt, Lisa Healey, and son Carlton D. Huitt, Jr.; and grandchildren Michael Shriver, Danna Shriver, Rebekah Shriver, Lindsey Healey-Pollack, Michael Healey, Kristin Healey, Patrick Corcoran, Sean Corcoran and Ashley Huitt. In last week's edition of The Lusk Herald Obituary, one of the doctor's granddaughters, Ashley Huitt, was not mentioned. She is the only survivor of the family that still rides. She has won many horse shows on her horses that were raised on her Granddad's ranch.
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