ROANOKE – Walter Alvin Fehr, 100, died at 6:12 a.m., Saturday, March 14, 2020, at his home in Roanoke.
He was born June 30, 1919, in Roanoke, the son of Benjamin J. and Caroline Spahr Fehr. He married Arlette “Peach” Ruth Fischer on Nov. 17, 1946, in Roanoke. She died Dec, 17, 2018.
Survivors include three sons, Tom Fehr, Mike Fehr and Curt Fehr, all of Roanoke; two daughters, Mary Jean (Tex) Streitmatter, Syracuse, Utah, and Linda (Mike) Dwyer, Secor; three grandchildren, Seth (Marni Brunstetter) Streitmatter, Salt Lake City, Utah, Holly (Eric) Gustavson, Farmington, Utah, and Jordan (Kyle) Schaefer, Roanoke and five great-grandchildren, Liam Gustavson, Vincent Gustavson, Vivian Streitmatter, Rosalind Streitmatter and Harlee Schafer,
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He was preceded in death by his parents, three infant children and two sisters.
Walt graduated from Roanoke Victory High School in 1937, where he played basketball and ran track. He later attended the Milwaukee (Wis.) School of Engineering. Walt was the last survivor to have been in the Roanoke coal mine. He was drafted into the Army on Jan. 17, 1941, and was one of the first go from Woodford County. Walt was stationed in San Francisco, Calif., with the Battery F18th Coast Artillery. He went in as a sea coast observer with a one-year assignment. That all changed when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Walt remained in S.F. for two more years. He did jobs in the Army that no one else knew about. Walt ended up in Italy in 1945 with the 766 Field Artillery. While there, he was one of six soldiers who liberated a small village near Milan. When the war ended, Walt was in northern Italy near Lake Como. He faithfully served his country for four years and nine months. Walt enjoyed his annual Battery F Army buddy reunions which took place for 50 years until 2007. He was blessed to be part of a Land of Lincoln Honor Flight on June 14, 2011, with his daughter Mary as his guardian. Upon his return to civilian life, Walt worked with his father, B. J. Fehr, at his blacksmith shop in Roanoke. He was an honest, caring business person who always went the extra mile for his customers for over 65 years. Outside of his time in the military, Walter lived in Roanoke his entire life. His faith was a very important part of his life. Walt was a member of the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Church, rural Roanoke, where he taught Sunday school and also worked in the sound room for many years. He also served his community faithfully, including the Roanoke Village Board for four years, the AC Home of Roanoke board for four years, Roanoke Park Board for 18 years and Roanoke Township Board for 25 years, with a majority of those as clerk. Walt also was active with Roanoke American Legion Post No. 463, as he last held the chaplain’s post. He took two trips to Alaska, which held special memories for the couple. On the 1984 trip, he drove “Captain Abishi”, a 1972 Ford F-100 with a 240 ci six and a three on the tree.
Services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the church with ministers of the church officiating. Visitation will take place Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Knapp-Johnson-Harris Funeral Home, Roanoke, and Friday morning from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at the church. Because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, anyone who is elderly, sick or is concerned with contracting the illness is encouraged to remain home with the understanding of the family. Anyone who is interested, the service will be streamed live and will be available through the church’s website at www.roanokeacchurch.org, via telephone at 1 (866) 210-1669 Access Code: 9023904#, or through the AC Central app. Burial will follow the service in the church cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the AC Home of Roanoke or to Unity Point Hospice.
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