William Walter
William Walter

Obituary of William Walter

May 16, 1925 - Dec 19, 2021 Bud was born in Spokane, WA to Carl and Emma Walter. He spent his childhood living in Medical Lake, WA attending grade school there, then attended Cheney High School. As a young boy, his older sister Marguerite called him her little "Buddy" and the name stuck through his high school years. He graduated from Cheney in 1942 and attended college at the University of Idaho. With a graduating class of 46, his classmates continued to have reunions every 5 years, then as they all got older, had a reunion every summer. Bud attended his last reunion in August 2016 - the class's 74th - with 7 classmates attending at Darcy's Restaurant in Spokane Valley, WA. Pretty impressive attendance for such a small class! He was drafted in the US Army the summer of 1943 which interrupted his college plans. He was in the 70th Division Infantry as a marksman for SS MI Rifle and MM Carbine and worked as a radio operator. He was stationed in Rhineland and Central Europe and from 1944-46 he played clarinet in the 70th Division Trailblazers Band. While in the Army, he received a European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, Victory Medal, American Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. After an honorable discharge, he finished with his BA in Music at the University of Idaho, graduating in 1949, did post-graduate work at the University of Arkansas in 1950-51 and got his master’s in music at Northwestern University in 1952. Another great event happened that summer, he married Maggie Walter, whom he met in the Orchestra Pit at U of A (so the story goes). He taught Band at Benton High School in Illinois for 2 years while his wife finished her schooling, then they moved to Mountain Home, ID in 1954 where he taught band and choral at the grade school and high school until 1967. Wanting to leave the heat and desert area of Mtn. Home for greener pastures, they moved to Molalla, OR where he taught at Molalla high school, grade school and several small elementary schools in the area for 4 years before becoming the band and general music teacher at Mulino Grade School, where he finished out his years of service - retiring in 1985. While he was in college, he performed with multiple bands, orchestras, Pep Bands and quintets. After graduating and while he was teaching, he joyfully played both the clarinet and alto saxophone, performing in the Boise Summer Concert Band (3 yrs), Portland Symphonic Band (4 yrs), the Summer Band in Oregon City/West Linn (8 yrs), the Oregon Symphonic Band (8 yrs), Providence Hospital Doctor's Stage Band in Portland, OR (29 yrs), Jazz Express Big Band (23 yrs), The Oomp-Pah-Boyz Trio (32 yrs) and the Jim Brown Quartet (about 43 yrs). Music was a major part of his life and he continued playing in multiple bands while teaching and after retiring, telling everyone that playing kept him "young!". Throughout his career, he played with Morey Amsterdam at the Oregon State Fair, Mel Torme' and Woodie Hite in Portland and many others as they performed here. His last performance was with the Providence Hospital Doctor's Stage Band in May of 2019, just before his 94th birthday. Bud passed away on December 19, 2021, in Portland, OR at the age of 96. He is survived by son Kevin (wife Terry) granddaughter Menolly (husband Sherif) and great grandson Mazen, granddaughter Ariel, daughter Lisa and son Bruce (wife Anne). Bud was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years - Margaret "Maggie" Ann Gentry Walter (2011), his daughter Dana Marie Walter Kahl (2005), his parents Carl & Emma and his sister Marguerite. He leaves behind a legacy of love, joy and music. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1pm on Sunday, June 12th, 2022, at the First Christian Church in the Park Blocks of downtown Portland … 1314 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Sunnyside Little Chapel Of The Chimes & Memorial Garden