William R. “Bill” Walter, 92

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William Robert "Bill" Walter passed away on Sunday, November 26, 2023 at home on the family farm west of Beloit at the age of 92. Bill was born the youngest of five children to Herman and Minnie (Kirgis) Walter on the same farmstead on April 6, 1931.
Bill attended a country school just north of his home through third grade, and then attended St. John's schools after that, graduating in 1949. He spent one year attending Benedictine College, where he was a starter on the basketball team. It was during that time that his dad became ill and was no longer able to continue farming. Bill made the decision to leave college after his freshman year to return home to help his dad. He remained involved in the game of basketball for several more years, however, as a coach at St. John's.
Being asked to serve as Godfather for the child of a friend in Kansas City, Bill met a pretty young woman from Shawnee at the baptism who was asked to be the Godmother. After a year-long courtship that consisted mostly of writing letters back and forth to each other almost daily, Bill and Louise Wagner were married in Shawnee on September 27, 1958. To that union were born six children: David, Barbara, Joe, Karen, Jeri and Steve.
While continuing to farm, Bill also worked off the farm to help provide for his growing family, including work with Vossman Electric, Klema's Meats and on a bridge crew for J.S. Frank Construction.
Bill's family and his Catholic faith were the focal points of his life. Bill continued coaching basketball until soon after the birth of their first child. Although he had stepped down as coach at the school, he continued to coach his own children when they became old enough. Practices were typically held in the barn which at one time had three goals of varying heights to accommodate the six children of varied ages. They worked a lot on free throws standing behind a white painted line on the floor. Years later, his grandchildren would wince when they missed a free throw in a game because they knew that Grandpa was watching!
Knowing that his place as a husband and father was his most important job, Bill never missed a concert, game or other activity involving his children. Even if it was a T-ball game during wheat harvest with storm clouds looming, the combine would sit and Bill would be in town at the game. He and Louise would always say that six months from now, it wouldn't matter if the work got done that night or not, but the kids would always remember if he wasn't there.
Finally growing weary after eight decades spent sitting on tractors, but mostly tired of having to make the day-to-day decisions, Bill turned his farm ground over to his daughter and son-in-law at age 82 in 2013. He continued to manage his pastures and cow herd for a few more years after that, until illness forced him to also give up the cows. He spent the past few years mostly at home, but still enjoyed going to his grandchildrens' games and school events when he could.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Leo Walter, and sisters, Vera Barton, Grace Heiman and Mary Lou Walter. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Louise, and children, David (Michelle) Walter of Wichita, Barbara (Mike) Gack of Salina, Joe (Kate) Walter of Beloit, Karen (Mark) Abker of Salina, Jeri (Jeff) Bates of Beloit and Steve (Valerie) Walter of Beloit; 18 grandchildren, Nick (Andrea) Walter, Lauren (Gabe) Hart, Andrea Walter, Lindsay Gack, Kelsie Gack, Elizabeth (Matt) Hamilton, Benjamin Walter, Felicity Walter, Megan (Clay) Zeller, Adam Bates, Brandon Bates, Luke Bates, Aaron Bates, Greg Walter, Maryann Walter, Clare Walter, Blaise Walter and Madeline Walter; and one great-grandchild, Nellie Walter.
Funeral services will be at 11 AM Saturday, December 2, at the St. John's Catholic Church.
Visitation will be from 9 AM to 5 PM with family present from 3-5 PM Friday, December 1, at the Roberts Family Funeral Home.
A rosary service will be at 7 PM Friday at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the St. John's Catholic Schools, St. John's Catholic Church or the Cornerstone Charitable Foundation.
Roberts Family Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be left at www.robertsfamilyfs.com

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Beloit, KS 67420, USA