MEDFORD, Ore. — The Oregon State Police department has lost many patrol officers throughout its history, but on Thursday, local troopers gave recognition to one woman who is not on the force.
Senior trooper James Mecham and sergeant Jeff Allison try to stop by Lloyd and Lolita Clodfelter’s home often. While a joyous occasion, it’s a painful reminder of what happened to their son, Brett. In 1993, he was on patrol in Klamath Falls and stopped a car for a DUII.
“As it so happens, one of the passengers in the vehicle that he stopped was on his way to kill his probation officer,” said Mecham.
Brett who was unaware of their intentions, offered to give them a safe ride but did not catch a hidden pistol in one of their jackets.
“When they pulled up to this address, fictitious address they had given him, Manzo-Hernandez shot Brett in the back of the head from the rear of the patrol car,” said Mecham.
It’s a night Brett’s father can recall clearly.
“The day he was killed, he came by the house. He said, ‘Dad I want you to go with me tonight’ and I said, ‘Oh no, Brett. It’s just not a good time. You go on ahead’. That’s the last time I saw him,” said Lloyd Clodfelter.
Yet through a tragedy, Brett’s parents turned it around and single-handedly launched a non-profit organization called “Help Our Troopers.”
“Lloyd and Lolita were determined because of our depleted numbers. That’s one of the reasons Brett was alone when he had to deal with these suspects…to help protect the rest of us,” said Mecham.
“It was one of those programs that came from the heart. It’s hard to generate some money for some of those programs. It’s a labor of love,” said Sgt. Jeff Allison.
But the Clodfelter’s didn’t stop there. Lloyd volunteered with the Oregon State Police and Lolita became a second mother for the troopers.
“We always got good stuff. She’d always bake good stuff us. They would always come and visit us,” said Mecham.
They say that heartfelt generosity will always be remembered especially now. Lolita passed away Sunday.
“I don’t know what else I can do for the troopers. I’m too old and disabled now. Obviously, I can’t do any riding around with the troopers so our means of helping the troopers is pretty much over. We need other people to take up the cause,” said Clodfelter.
Lolita and Lloyd were married for 55 years. Lloyd also told Newswatch 12 when Brett passed away, the next day he would have been promoted to senior trooper. The department says it recognizes him as one. Brett’s killer is still in prison.
Lolita’s funeral will be held at the Pearl Funeral Home and Siskiyou Memoral Park on October 27th at 1:30 p.m.