Donald J. Walters
Donald J. Walters passed peacefully in the morning hours of March
19, 2019 at The Waterford Assisted Living Facility, Oshkosh, his place of
residence since 2013. He was born in Oshkosh on October 24, 1933, the
fourth and final child of Norman and Marion (Hoey) Walters. Don spent much of his youth stocking shelves
at his father’s grocery stores on New York Avenue in Oshkosh and stockpiling
stories about his shenanigans with his siblings and friends. In 1950 he
spotted 15 year old Joanne Breiner in an Oshkosh bowling alley and, as he
recalled, it was love at first sight. They married on October 29, 1958 and by
1966 they had three sons and one daughter. Don enjoyed adventures with his
children such as taking them fishing on Lake Winnebago, going on unplanned road
trips, and treating them to Packer games at Lambeau field. Many family adventures
centered on Don’s involvement with drum and bugle corps. In the 1970s he helped direct the Oshkosh
Warrior Cadets before directing the Marauders. He also trained his daughter’s
Campfire Girls troop to serve as a color guard at Oshkosh events. Many years
later, he welcomed opportunities to travel with Joanne to Germany, Kentucky,
and New York to visit grandchildren.
Don served the country with immense pride, joining the Navy in
1951. After two years on active duty, he continued serving in the Naval
Reserves from which he retired in 1988. His training as a Hospital
Corpsman helped him discern his calling in medicine. His first civilian
position in the medical field was as a surgical technician / orderly at
Winnebago Mental Health Hospital in Oshkosh. He left the medical field
for a short time while he assumed ownership of Walters Food Towne but returned
to medicine in 1971 as a Physician’s Assistant at the Clinic of Orthopedic
Surgery in Fond du Lac where he was employed until 2000. Not quite ready to
fully retire, he worked part-time at Agnesian Clinic – Orthopedics until 2003.
Don was passionate about his career and devoted tremendous amounts of
time, energy and talent to his work for the benefit of his patients. It was not
uncommon for a former patient to stop him in a restaurant or at the mall to
thank him for attending to their needs or holding their hand when they were
Don will be remembered by his family for his love of sour green
apples (especially from a neighbor’s prized apple tree), stewed tomatoes and
macaroni, and root beer. He was a fan of Star Trek and Brett Favre (even as a
Viking). He helped his children appreciate their opportunities to explore and
play from dawn to dusk, the joy of driving manual transmissions, and engaging
in robust debate. They learned from him the importance of commitment to
extended and immediate family. And they
greatly appreciate his forgiving nature – even when one of them caused him to
lose the biggest fish he (almost) caught.
Those Donald leaves behind to cherish his
memory include his children, LTC (Ret) Timothy (Linda) Walters of Augusta, MI,
Michael (Patricia) Walters of Stevens Point, WI, Dr. Jeffrey (Rebecca) Walters
of Fond du Lac, WI, and Lori (Timothy) Walters-Kramer, Ph.D. of Monmouth, IL.
Also left with fond memories are Don’s grandchildren, Elizabeth,
Christopher, Zachary (Taylor), Austin, Cody and Cory Walters as well as Owen
and Annaliese Walters-Kramer.
Additionally, he leaves behind his sister-in-law, Jackie Walters; his
brother-in-law, David Erdmann; and many nephews and nieces.
Don was preceded in death by his wife of 54
years; parents; two brothers, Lt. Col. Stanley Walters and Norman “Bucky”
Walters, Jr.; sister, Elaine Farrell; brother-in-law, Joe Farrell; nephews,
Thomas Walters and Mark Walters; mother-in-law, Eleanor (Ripple) Breiner;
father-in-law, Javan Breiner; and sister-in-law, Jean Erdmann.
A private service will be held for the family
on March 25, 2019 at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home. Donald will be laid to rest at the Shrine of
Rest Chapel Mausoleum in Ledgeview Memorial Park, Fond du Lac.
Don’s family would like to thank the staff of
the The Waterford in Oshkosh for their care of Don over the course of six
Memorials are appreciated in Don’s memory to
the Alzheimer’s Association.
Guestbook and tribute wall may
be found by visiting ueckerwitt.com.