Fayette County Cultural Trust - Explore Fayette County Pennsylvania
Paul Wyatt

Paul Wyatt grew up in Redstone Twp. Here he is in August of 1926 representing the Uniontown YMCA and winning the 200 yard backstroke. (2nd Photo) Paul would go on to become an Olympic medalist winning both a bronze and a silver. And what an impressive group team USA had representing us in 1928 Amsterdam. The next photo shows matinee idol Buster Crabb who played Flash Gordon, Buster brought home a bronze and a gold. George Kojac, pictured next brought home a gold and a silver. Paul Wyatt brought home a bronze and a silver. And then there is our favorite Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller himself who brought home two golds and a bronze. The next photo shows part of the team enroute to Amsterdam. Johnny Weissmuller is first, Helen Meany, diver is next, the team manager Dr. Francois D'Elissu follows with Paul Wyatt in the back with Walter Laufer completing the team photo. What experiences this small town boy must have had.

Paul's father Jesse was Justice of the Peace in Redstone twp. He died in 1932 at the age of 53. Paul also died young at the age of 63. He came from a broken home and lived between parents and grandparents, the Presocks of Brownsville. Paul went on to college and became a lab technician employed by Brownsville Hospital. 

In Sept of 1976, B J Cloud interviewed his widow. Here is the article:

Some of them may be well-known stage personalities; others may be in high government positions, famous in the sports world. They need not be all that famous.

It's fun to talk with some of young leaders in the community, those busy ladies who do so much to beautify our city and visitors from foreign countries.

But once in a while you meet someone who doesn't fall into any of those categories. Yet she, or he, turns out to be someone very special, someone you will not soon forget.

I met such a person last week.

Her name was Juanita K. Wyatt.

How do you describe someone who is "special". It's hard to put your finger on it. Maybe it's her charisma, her voice, her personality, her sense of humor, her sincerity, her interest in life in general. Juanita Wyatt fits those descriptions Juanita has been a nurse for over 45 years.

Friday she is going to retire after many years and many experiences in the nursing field.  For the past 10 years she has been the coordinator for the Fayette County Area Vocational Technical Practical Nursing Program.
when I talked with this lady she was most reluctant to tell me about herself. She had jotted down her education and her positions at the various hospitals throughout the years, (which is a most impressive resume I might add.)
Instead, she wanted to talk about her late husband, Paul Wyatt, the famed local Olympic swimmer.

"I was so proud of Paul," she reminisced. "We had such a wonderful life together."

Paul entered the Olympics in 1924 in Paris and won the silver medal. In 1928 he entered again in Amsterdam and won the bronze medal.
The story of their meeting begins way back. Juanita was born in Altedena, Calif. Following the death of her father he mother moved the family to Middletown, Ohio, where she had acquired a position working for an administrator in a hospital.

When the administrator was transferred to Brownsville Hospital he found he desperately needed an accountant and sent for Juanita's mother to help.
Once again, the family moved and that's where Juanita met Paul. She would visit her mother at the hospital and was there one day when a handsome, trim gentleman applied for the job of technician. It was Paul Wyatt.
at the time Juanita was studying nursing at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she graduated in 1929. She went from there to Mt. St. Joseph College in Cincinnati for two years and received her B.S. degree in 1931.

She continued her education at Greeley College, Greeley, Colo. receiving four credits towards her master's degree. She also received educational credits at California State College.

She did teaching at St. Mary's Hospital in Pueblo, Colo, from 1931 until 1933. She then came back to Brownsville General Hospital until 1946 when she and Paul were married.

During 1955 and 1956 she was employed as supervisor at Steptoe Valley Hospital in Ely, Nev. Then she transferred to Carson Tahoe Hospital, Carson City, Nev. where she was supervisor for two years.

"My husband and I recall those were wonderful years for us,: she admitted. "For one things, we treated all the big stars who entertained at Lake Tahoe. When Just Garland would run into problems she would come to us. When she wasn't in those mixed-up states she was a wonderful human being and so insecure."

Gisele MacKenzie and Teresa Brewer she came to know and considered them especially nice and good entertainers.
"We were often guests at Lake Tahoe. When an entertainer would come that we particularly like word would get out such as "Okay, let's all go see Red tonight"> They meant Red Skelton because he was definitely one of our favorites."

Juanita thought of taking it a little easy. She retired from the hospital in Carson City in 1958.

At the same time a good friend of hers, Dr. T. V. Ross, Gardenerville, Nev. was about to retire.

"Until I do would you come and just help for a couple of hours," he pleaded with her."

"I went into that doctor's office in 1959 to just help out and didn't leave until 1962. In his retirement he had more patients than he had had during his practice," she remarked. 

She and Paul came back to this area in 1963 when she took a position with the Greene County Memorial Hospital in Waynesburg. She stayed there until she cam here with the practical nursing program.
Unfortunately she lives alone. Paul died six years ago. But she has that spirit that doesn't let her be lonely.

"I have too many pleasant memories for that," she added. "and I hope some more to come. But the most important thing I will remember will be the day I married Paul."Paul's obituary's from The Morning Herald, Dec. 16, 1970:
Paul H. Wyatt of Brownsville, a laboratory technician at the Brownsville Hospital for many years, died yesterday at 2 p.m. at the age of 63.
Mr. Wyatt was a member of the American Olympic team in 1924 and again in 1928, competing in the backstroke competition.

He is survived by his wife, Juanita Knuth Wyatt, a son, Thomas of Carson City, Nev. and a brother, Arthur of Bradenton, Fla.

Friends will be received in the Crawford Funeral Home, Brownsville.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 9 a.m. in the St. Thomas Acquinas Church, California.Juanita died in 2001 at the age of 93. Husband and wife are buried at Lafayette Memorial Cemetery.