In Memory of
Eric Lee Walters
July 29, 1948–October 15, 2017
Eric Walters, 69, unexpectedly died from heart failure October 15, 2017. He is survived by his wife of forty-five years, Terry (Oregon), his oldest daughter, Cami Nihipali and husband Vince (Hawaii); his youngest daughter, Connie (Oregon); two grand-children Anuhea and Laʻanui; his brother, Tom Walters (Oregon) and wife, Susan, brother Dave Walters (California), sister-in-laws, Danice Bowers, her husband, Ron; Judy Cox and her husband, Cleve; many special nieces and nephews, and several grand-dogs: Shilo, Snoop, Boo, Ruby and Haupia.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Phyllis Walters.
Born July 29, 1948, in Grove City, Pennsylvania, Eric was the youngest of three brothers. Tom, the oldest, followed by Dave, and then Eric – the baby. While still in elementary school his parents, William and Phyllis packed up the family and moved West. First to Seattle, Washington and then eventually they settled in Sacramento, California where Eric graduated from high school.
Eric would often share stories about his childhood – most notably about his big brothers, and the family dogs, a pair of Boxers named Ike and Gerti. A man of few words, it was always fun to hear the little nuggets Eric shared about his life. As a teenager he spent most summers in Oregon living with his oldest brother Tom, and working in the hayfields. During this time he met Terry, Susan’s little sister and his future wife.
After graduating from high school, Eric joined the Navy. During the Vietnam War he served in the Tonkin Gulf on the USS Oriskany, an E Class Aircraft carrier. As a “brown shirt” Plane Captain Eric oversaw aircraft maintenance, launch and recovery of planes. During this time overseas, he and Terry began corresponding via letters and their friendship blossomed into a deep love. Two months after being discharged from the Navy, on November 27, 1971 they were married during the worst snowstorm of the season, in a small country church in Langell Valley, Oregon. Eric and Terry settled in Klamath Falls, Oregon. They had two daughters, Cami and Connie. While in Klamath Falls Eric worked for Pacific Power and Light, and began as a meter-reader, was promoted to truck driver and eventually became a Journeyman Lineman. His job took him from Klamath Falls to Lincoln City, Grants Pass and Portland and after 27 years he retired in 2007.
As a born-again Christian, wherever Eric lived he was a part of a local church body,and through the years served as an elder, on worship and prayer teams. A heart for people he often ministered to those who needed comfort, prayer and compassion. His devotion to his faith is exemplified in the many daily prayer journals he kept, a testament to his gift of prayer for those who touched his life. In the last 10 years, he was a part of a men’s prayer and fellowship group, men he deeply loved.
Eric Walters had a beautiful tenor singing voice and while serving in the Navy he was part of the Blue Jacket Choir. In the 1980s, along with his wife and sister-in-law, Judy, he belonged to a music group “Children of the Word,” and they ministered around the Klamath basin. Eric loved singing with his family. Among his favorite songs were “My Tribute,” “He Walked as a Man,” “Beautiful Hands,” and “O Holy Night.”
Eric will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland Oregon on December 28, 2017 at 1pm with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Samaritanʻs Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org) in his name, specifically “Operation Heal Our Patriots” as they are active in supporting military veterans with PTSD. Or to Warford Ministries, 11434 Otto St. #D | Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 .http://www.evangelistdeawarford.org
Eric had a servantʻs heart. With compassion and acceptance of others, he supported elderly Jews who migrated to Israel after the war, and had a heart for injured veterans. Eric’s kindness and compassion for others, his prayerful vigilance for those in his life, dedication to God, family and his country, his dependability to help when ever he could, his joy and his unconditional love are all a testament to a man who will be missed by those who loved him.