Robert B. Walton 88 went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 4th, 2017. Bob was born June 12th, 1929 in Manchester, Montana to Benjamin and Leota Walton.
Bob spent his first 5 years in Pinnacle, near Essex, Montana, where his parents were building the first tourist accommodations in Glacier Park. He attended school in Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Bigfork, and Auburn, WA. He graduated from Columbia Falls High School. An all-around athlete, Bob lettered in basketball and football. He turned down an athletic scholarship to Oregon State and Montana State to join the Army.
Bob went through his basic training at Fort Ord, CA then to Combat Engineer training at Fort Belvior, VA. He went to Korea and then to Fort Lewis, WA where he took intelligence and instructor refresher courses at the Special Training Center. Next, he volunteered to go to Germany for a year.
Proverbs 22-29 states “Have you seen a man skilled in his work? He will serve before Kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” Bob was such a man. After he was discharged from the Army, he worked on interstate highway construction in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. He worked on the North Slope in Alaska, the oil fields in Montana, and for several years as a private contractor in the Big Sky area. After 4 years in the gold exploration in Nevada, he was ready once again to make his home in his beloved Montana.
A quick wit and a ready smile, master at his craft, he enjoyed his life, work, meeting, and helping people, and his much-loved family and friends. He loved the movies and taught himself to swim by watching Tarzan and even swam the Flathead River at the North Fork when he was 12. He wanted to be a Sargent in the Army after watching Sgt. York which he accomplished 1 year and 1 day after he enlisted. He even got a Wire-Hair Terrier, Heide, after watching the Thin Man with Myrna Loy.
Bob loved exploring new places and his work provided the opportunity. Many of the people he met became life-long friends. Rock hounding, lapidary, hunting, and fishing were his passions. At 80 years old, he bagged a 5x5 elk at 129 yards with a 243 caliber rifle. He especially enjoyed his Secret Santa ministry that he carried on through the holidays; helping people in need without letting anyone know who did it. He lived, loved, and laughed, a lot.
He was a life time member of the NRA, Commanders Club of the DAV Patriots Hall of Fame, RNC, American Legion, and the VFW. Bob was one of the original donors of the Endowment for Sports at Columbia Falls High School.
Proceeding him in death are; his wife and companion of 47 years Irma Rosenburg, his parents Ben and Leota Walton, his brothers and sisters-in-law, Parley and Bernie Walton, Benny and Norma Walton, nephew Robert B. Walton, daughter, Marla Langley, great nephew Brad Walton, and great niece Deana Bauer Walton.
He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law Doris (Dolly) and Pat Lee of Columbia Falls, daughter Diana, granddaughters Regina, Katharine, Amy, grandson Michael, great grandsons Nolan, Conor, Zeek, Ashton all of Washington, his aunt Faye Reeves of Columbia Falls, brother-in-law Allan White, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Montana Veterans Memorial, PO Box 215, Columbia Falls, Montana 59912, the Endowment for Sports at the Columbia Falls High School, or the Columbia Falls Food Bank.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday July 8th at 10 am at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell, Montana. A reception will be held at The Journey Church 5091 US 2 Columbia Falls at 11:30 am. Columbia Mortuary is caring for Robert’s family.