Family of Orem Scout leader who drowned saving troop member shares photo, asks for help funding funeral

Wesley Kratzer. Photo: GoFundMe

SALEM, Utah, July 19, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of an Orem Boy Scout leader who drowned saving one of his troop members has posted a brief GoFundMe request for help paying for the funeral service.

“Our son Wesley Kratzer passed away unexpectedly in a drowning accident,” the post says. “He leaves behind a very young widow of 20 years old.”

Wesley Robert Kratzer, 22, of Orem, lost his life Wednesday evening while at an outing at Salem Pond with his troop of Boy Scouts.

The troop, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, went to the pond to practice basic swimming techniques so the boys, ages 10 and 11, could qualify for swimming merit badges.

“He was with a young man who was struggling, and he pushed the boy toward the shore,” Chief Brad James, Salem Police Department, told Gephardt Daily.

“He never resurfaced. But he did save the life of that young man.”

Officials were called to the scene at about 7 p.m., and multiple divers were assigned to the search. The victim was found a little before 8 p.m.

“He was transported to Mountain View Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead,” James said. “He died, but he did it saving a life,” James said.

Less than an hour after the GoFundMe page went up, friends and a few strangers were posting condolences and tributes:

  • “We are really sorry for your loss. God bless you all. We are here.”
  • “Wesley was an amazing kind person. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.”
  • “So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for your families.”
  • “We love you Kratzer family. Thoughts & prayers being sent your way at this difficult time.”
  • “Much Love to you all!!! Our hearts are broken for your family!!”


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