He was born on July 17, 1959 in Menden, Nebraska, the son of Burdette and Anna (Thiel) Nielsen.
Walter graduated from Cabool High School in 1977; with parental consent, he joined the Navy at 17 years old where he worked until he retired in 1998. While in the Navy, he worked as a mechanical engineer and turbine boiler technician who worked on hovercrafts/LCACs before finally retiring as a chief petty officer.
Once retired, he and his wife, Lorraine, moved to Craigieburn, Australia. There, Walter began working for Royal Melbourne Hospital as a security officer. Over the years, he would return and visit family and friends as often as possible. His children remember him as a patient father who always put them first and encouraged them to pursue their goals.
Walter was a generous, witty, strong, intelligent and compassionate man who loved “The Simpsons” and Stephen King, traveling the world and hanging out at home, cheap beer and expensive whiskey. He was the one to call when your car broke down or when you needed someone to put something into perspective. His passion for his family, friends, the Navy, mechanics, engineering and politics were at the forefront in his life.
Walter was preceded in death by his mother, Anna Thiel Nielsen.
He is survived by his wife, Lorraine Lynch Nielsen of Craigieburn, VIC; children, Shauna Hendrix of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Kelli and Jeffery Nielsen of Westfield, Massachusetts; his father, Burdette Nielsen of Cabool, Missouri; siblings, Soren Nielsen, Betty Jarrett and Joyce Daniel of Cabool and Melody Rader of Camdenton, Missouri.
Graveside services were held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, August 8, 2016, at Jarrett Cemetery near Cabool. Pallbearers were TJ Bertram, Angelo Xerri, Cody Daniel, Woodley Johnson, Scott Harrison and Brent Daniel. Interment with full military honors was under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.