He is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Margaret (Douglas) Walls, Leland Douglas, Lois (Douglas) Steele and Herbert Douglas.
Walter grew up in the White Rock community, graduating from Houston High School in 1943. He accepted Christ as his Savior and was baptized at an early age, faithfully attending Oak Hill Christian Church all of his life, serving as an elder and in other leadership positions.
On November 25, 1948, Walter was united in marriage to Laveda Randall, and to this union were born three children. Walter and Laveda began married life on 126 acres of brush and weeds with a borrowed milk cow and nine yearling heifers. Prior to their marriage, Walter had followed the wheat harvest in the Great Plains for seven years and was badly injured in a Jeep wreck that nearly took his life. The young couple steadily improved the land and built a grade A dairy barn in 1950, always continuing to expand their small farm into a successful dairy and beef operation. They were recognized in 1974 by the Eastern Missouri Farm Management Program as the Texas County honorees for that year. They were also recognized as a University of Missouri Extension Farm Family. Their farm has been named as a Missouri Century Farm.
Walter is survived by his wife, Laveda Douglas; daughters, Marilyn Malam and husband John of Bucyrus, Missouri, and Rita Jensen and husband Garry of Houston; son, Marvin Douglas of Houston; grandchildren, Annette (Malam) Hill and husband Tim of Salem, Missouri, Leannette (Malam) Beeson and husband Dave of Salem, Sara (Jensen) Edwards and husband Chris of Carthage, Missouri, and Tara (Jensen) Volk and husband Aaron of Huggins, Missouri; nine great-grandchildren, Haley Arzt, Anndy Hill, Jesse Hill, Brooke Beeson, Blake Beeson, Cooper Beeson, Hudson Volk, Piper Volk and Loudon Edwards; one great-great-grandchild, Berkeley Arzt; a brother, Cecil Douglas of South Jordan, Utah; a sister, Gladys (Douglas) Criss of Bothel, Washington; sisters-in-law, Beulah Douglas of Houston, Gloria Randall of Blackwell, Oklahoma, and Irene (Randall) Longwell; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends made throughout the years.
Walter loved to travel; he and Laveda traveled to 49 of the 50 states during their marriage. He also loved to fish and hunt, going on many Canadian fishing vacations as well as wintering in Florida for several years. His love of pitching horseshoes won several tournaments. He served multiple terms as a Mid-America Dairyman voting delegate, as well as serving on the Rock Garden Christian Service Camp board. As a teen, he was one of the first campers attending Rock Garden Camp 76 years ago when the camp began.
He was a master at laying rock on houses; he built the rock walls on his own home, both of his daughter’s homes, the church and parsonage at Oak Hill Christian Church.
Walter was a great encourager and teacher to others; he didn’t like to be in the spotlight himself, but provided positive examples for others to follow. He loved his family and lived his life by trusting in God and accepting each day as God’s gift. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
The family has respectfully suggested that donations be made in his honor in lieu of flowers to White Rock Cemetery or Rock Garden Christian Camp, 4105 State Rt. 17, Pomona, MO 66789.
Services were held Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at Oak Hill Christian Church with Rev. Don Crockett officiating. Burial was in White Rock Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Aaron Volk, Garry Brandt, Stanley Moore, David Arthur, Chester Malam and Randy Koch.