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Walter Lee Heacock “Walt” passed away peacefully, March 12, 2022 with family at his bedside. He was born November 12, 1936 and was 85 years of age at the time of his passing. Walt was born in Twin Falls, Idaho to Walter Ewing and Alma (Bell) Heacock in a small cabin heated only by a wood cookstove. That year was one of the most intense winter cold waves recorded in the history of North America.
Walt had a unique childhood as he, his sister Jolene, and his parents traveled the rodeo circuit performing a variety of trick riding stunts. Walt also competed in fast draw and roping competitions. What he learned on the road, and from other cowboys, gave him a doctorate in street smarts and an extensive vocabulary.
While at a 5 Spot Drive-In restaurant in September 1958, Walt saw, and fell for Elfriede Elizabeth Matthaeus “Liz”, and on December 26 they were married in Verdi, Nevada. They were well matched, and have celebrated 63 years of marriage. They started out in the San Jose, California area where he worked as a carpenter. Daughter Julie was born in 1962, followed by daughter Lynne in 1964.
In 1971 the family moved to the Hood River, Oregon area, settled on a small ranch and enjoyed raising cattle, pigs, chickens and hay. Due to a back injury, Walt could no longer work as a carpenter; so he studied for, and obtained his Realtor and Broker Licenses. The place he was most proud to use them was when he opened his own office, Westwind Properties.
Early 1990s, Walt obtained his Construction Contractors License. Personally designing and overseeing the building of multiple homes. Early 2000, Liz and Walt returned to the first home he had built, where they remained.
Throughout his life Walter enjoyed many pursuits; he was an accomplished self-taught guitar player, and an outdoor enthusiast of shooting, hunting, and fishing. In his later years many remember him sitting on the porch, smoking a cigar, keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood.
Walt was a “man’s man”, tough as nails, always ethical, and had absolute grit. He was a fierce protector of not only his family, but any others in need of protection. Walt didn’t show his gentle side often, but he really had a soft spot when it came to babies, puppies and kittens. As the beloved and respected patriarch of our family, “Papa Bear” will be truly missed.
Walt is survived and will be dearly missed by; his wife, Elfriede Elizabeth “Liz” of Hood River, Oregon; daughters, Julie Lee (and Doug Epperson) of Hood River, Oregon and Lynne Granberg of Troutdale, Oregon; grandchildren, Vanessa Lee, Courtney Lee (& Rob Kovacich), Savannah Falconer (& Justin) and Andrew Granberg; great grandchildren, Austen Lee, Dakota Sharkey and Penelope Kovacich. In addition to his parents, Walt was preceded in death by his sister, Jolene Williams and son-in-law, Eric Granberg.
A celebration of life service will be held 2:00 P.M., Thursday, April 14, 2022 at Anderson’s Tribute Center (1401 Belmont Ave, Hood River, OR, 97031) with a reception to follow.
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