Robert “Bob” Franklin Walters
Robert “Bob” Franklin Walters, 88, went home to Heaven on Saturday, September 3, 2016 at the Satanta Long-Term Care Unit. He was born on June 20, 1928, in Sublette, the son of Horace Franklin and Mary Josephine (Kennedy) Walters. The story is told that he was so tiny at birth that they wrapped him and put him in a shoe box on the stove to keep him warm and that a teacup would fit on his head. Even with a small start, he grew to be over 6 ft. tall!
Bob spent his childhood through high school years in Sublette. He bravely served our country fighting in the Korean War and serving as a military policeman in Arlington Cemetery. He attended Friends University in Wichita and Wichita State University after his military service, during which he was a track athlete. He also met Saloma Jane “Janie” Burr on a shared trip back home when a mutual friend gave Janie a ride to Dodge City before driving Bob and himself to Sublette. Bob and Janie were married on June 23, 1957 in Dodge City.
Bob graduated with a business degree from Wichita State University. He worked at Boeing in Wichita until he and Janie moved to Liberal to take a position in the finance department of Mullins’ Furniture Store. They moved to Sublette when he took the position of Director of Social Services there. His job later moved him to the Dodge City office where he worked until his retirement.
Bob was a member of Sublette Christian Church all through his years growing up in Sublette and again after he moved his family back. He served faithfully as a deacon and as a 5th/6th grade Sunday School teacher for many years, imparting the truth of God’s Word to young minds and stressing the importance of making Jesus their Lord and Savior.
Bob had been a resident of Satanta LTCU since January 2013 when he became Janie’s roommate until her passing August 13, 2015, shortly after they celebrated their 58th Wedding Anniversary. He had the great privilege of taking part in an Honors Flight to Washington, D.C., with his oldest son, Bill Walters, in May of 2015 and enjoyed a trip to the Grand Canyon in May of 2016 with both of his sons, Bill and Gary Walters.
Bob was a huge KU Basketball fan (as was his wife, Janie) and could always be found wearing his newest KU baseball cap proudly. He also loved talking with the other residents who were also veterans and sharing stories of their time in service. Most of all, he loved the Lord and spent a majority of his evenings reading and studying the Bible.
Bob was a loving, faithful husband to Janie, caring for her in their home until she was moved to Satanta’s LTCU in 2009, and would spend nearly every day with her while she was a resident and he still lived at home. He was also a wonderful, caring father to his four children, and later his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by all of them.
Bob is survived by his two sons, Bill Walters and wife, Teresa of Rockton, Illinois, and Gary Walters of Liberal; two daughters, Velva Armstrong and husband, Dave of Washington, Missouri, and Gayla Wood and husband, Shane of Kissimmee, Florida; one brother, Elbert Walters and wife, Helen of St. Louis, Missouri; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He is proceeded in death by his parents; four sisters, Mildred Walters, Hazel Marie Woodward, Marjorie Bailey, and Mary Nell Orringderf; and one granddaughter, Meagan Opal Wood.
Funeral service will be held at Sublette Christian Church on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Haskell County Cemetery , Sublette. Visitation will be at Swaim Funeral Chapel of Sublette on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 from noon to 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 6:00-8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators for one of his granddaughter’s, Abby Armstrong’s, ministry expenses in Papua New Guinea. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.