Funny, giving, strong work ethic, never complained, and joking personality were just a few ways to describe such a great man like Walter Altimus. He loved his family and thought the world of his grandchildren and was proud of each of them. He set the standard for example of what a great person, husband, father, grandfather and friend should be and set the standard.
With America still trying to recover from the attacks on Pearl Harbor which led the United States into WWII, most manufacturing and supplies were set to support the war effort. Due to shortages with supplies, Americans saw the first rationing by 1942. During this time, the minimum draft age is lowered from 21 to 18 and the famous duct tape is invented. Much of the world was recovering and talking about WWII but nothing was more exciting than the announcement on November 16, 1942 for Harry W. and Myrtle J. (Walburn) Altimus than letting family and friends know that they welcomed their third child into the world, Walter W. Altimus in Noble County, Indiana.
Tragedy struck Walt's family as his mom gave birth to the youngest child and passed away. His mother's parents stepped up and not long after were raising the four children. He attended a one-room school house and living not far away, he would start the fireplace in the morning to heat up the room. He enjoyed both swimming and fishing at Chain-O-Lakes. While attending Albion High School, he played basketball and would graduate with the Class of 1960.
Following graduation, Walt worked for a brief time before taking a job with Weatherhead in Columbia City. It was there that Judy K. Mossburg caught his attention. He finally got the courage to talk to her and they had lunch together at Penguin Point and he would ask her out to watch a Western movie at the theaters. That date would lead to everlasting love and the young couple was married on September 21, 1963 at Troy Methodist Church.
The first few years of marriage they rented before moving east of town where they lived for 38 years before moving to Eagle Glen in 2004. They raised three children together, Kim, David and Daniel. They spent many trips together camping, traveling to New York State, Tennessee, and Arkansas plus visiting the Smokey Mountains.
While Judy left her full time job for a brief period of time to stay at home with their children, Walt would paint houses in the summer months to earn a little extra income for his family. He would retire from Dana Weatherhead Division in Columbia City in 1997 after being with the company for 35 years. He was a member of the Columbia City First Church of God where he had enjoyed playing on the softball league. He also served over 35 years with the Board of Directors of Weatherhead Federal Credit Union and currently is serving as the Treasurer. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, woodworking and playing cards. After Judy retired, they took advantage of their spare time and not only spent it with the family, but also were blessed to take a few cruise trips and visit Ireland and Nova Scotia along with traveling out west.
Family meant everything to Walt and he was proud of them, especially his grandchildren. When a few of his grandchildren were living in Florida, he and Judy spent their vacation time visiting and being with them. Walt loved the holidays and at Christmas, he was more excited to see the expression on his grandchildren's faces than they were to open their gifts. He would walk around with a one dollar bill and had the family guess what the first number of the serial number on the bill and that person would receive it and with the enthusiasm from his family, you would have thought he was offering a one hundred dollar bill! He also loved to host fish fries and be surrounded by his family.
On Sunday, July 22, 2018, Walt passed away unexpectedly at his home at 3:49 p.m. from complications of being diagnosed with ALS in May. He was 75 years old. Walt is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Judy Altimus; daughter, Kim (Rick) Yenser, of Columbia City; sons, David (Leslie) Altimus, of North Manchester, and Daniel (Chris) Altimus, of Columbia City; sister, Sanda (John) Bollinger, of Casperville; brother, Glen (Jean) Altimus, of Kendallville; nine grandchildren, Natasha (Sean) Richardson, Ethan (Misty) Altimus, Evan Altimus, Kassie (Kris) Andorfer, Austin (Mariah) Altimus, Hannah Altimus, Emma Altimus, Kamryn Yenser, and Dustin Altimus; and two great-grandchildren, Leia and Bryson. He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Myrtle Altimus; sister, Shirley Smith; and brother-in-law, Dan Smith.
Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2018 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with Pastor Johnny McCallister and Pastor Penny Mosher officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove (Compton) Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to ALS Association or Columbia City First Church of God. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send his family condolences online.
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Judy,so sorry for your loss. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers,hugs
Stanley School 1953
I have such fond memories of Walter growing up in Green Township. He was friends with my older brother and went to the same church. My mother worked at Weatherhead/Dana where he worked and our lives still were connected. I'm sorry I'm unable to visit with you in person but please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so thankful for the fond memories that have flooded my mind as I remember Walter. God bless you and grant you strength, comfort and peace.
Luana (Owen) Walker
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