Wayne Royce Walter, at the age of 99, passed away Aug. 28 at the Stuart Community Care Center in Stuart.
Wayne was born May 10, 1921, the son of Royce and Mildred (Howard). He was the oldest of five children (Wayne, Eileen, Jean, Mary Lou and Jerry).
On Jan. 19, 1942, Wayne was married to Opal Marie Stuva. To this union, four children were born: Dixie, married to Dean Boot (deceased), of Plymouth Calif.; Pamela, married to Richard (Red) Fisher, of Sun City, Ariz.; Reggie, of Des Moines; and Rodney, married to Nancy Lenz, of Dalhart, Texas.
Wayne was called to duty and served in World War II from 1942-45.
He was scheduled to train with the glider squadron at Camp McCall in Southern Pines, N.C. Soon after arriving, Wayne transferred from the glider squadron to paratrooper, hopeful it was safer to deploy from an airplane than a glider; it was later revealed that a properly working chute was the safest of equipment.
Wayne and several men were on a late-night training mission, parachuting thousands of feet from the air. During this jump, Wayne and other’s chutes malfunctioned. Wayne was approximately 100 feet from the ground when he managed to pull his safety reserve, which did not offer much resistance when his body hit the ground. Fearing the worse, he found his only injuries were the equipment he kept in his pockets!
After training, Pvt. Walter of the 13 Airborne and 194 Glider Infantry was sent to France on the Liberty Ship, where he was blessed to never parachute on enemy territory, to which he attributes to Gen. Patton for ending the war with a victory.
Wayne and his bride farmed near Brooks, Iowa, before moving to Casey in 1956 to start an electric/plumbing business. In 1966, the family moved to Jefferson, where he worked for Rural Electric Company (REC). Wayne then advanced his career with Iowa Electric, where he served as an appliance repairman and retired at age 62.
After retirement, he and Opal moved to and managed the senior citizen home in Jefferson next to the golf course, where Wayne loved to golf with his buddies. In 2002, the couple moved to Stuart.
Wayne is survived by his four children; two siblings: Eileen Hargus, of Davenport, and Jerry Walter, of Sun City; as well as eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and two siblings, MaryLou Schircliff, of San Deimas, Calif., and Jean Carlson, of Red Oak.
The family is requesting that memorials go to Stuart Memory Care Center in Stuart.
Public graveside services will be held at the Garner Cemetery south of Bridgewater at 1 p.m. Sept. 5, with full military graveside rites conducted by the Greenfield American Legion Head-Endres Post 265 and VFW Post 5357.
The cemetery is located two miles south of Bridgewater on County Road N51, Adair County. Due to COVID-19, social distancing will be practiced and the family encourages you to bring a lawn chair to the graveside service.
The Steen Funeral Home in Greenfield is in charge of the professional arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family at steenfunerals.com.