Walter "Walt" Divan

September 13, 1926July 22, 2013
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Walter Divan of Columbus, who retired as a vice president for Cummins Inc., passed away at Our Hospice of Southern Indiana on Monday, July 22, 2013. Known as Walt to friends and colleagues, by family members he was also lovingly called Bill, his mother’s favorite name for him.

Born in Danville, Illinois, on September 13, 1926, to Walter A. and Madge (Warner) Divan, he graduated from Danville High School, and then from General Motors Institute (GMI). A World War II veteran, Walt served with the U.S. Army.

His business career began in the foundry industry, working in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. He was then recruited to manage a large foundry operation in Argentina. That was a wonderful experience which also further whetted a love for international business and travel. One highlight that he fondly remembered was when teammates carried him off the field on their shoulders following their team winning a soccer game. As goalie, Walt had not allowed a single point to be scored by the opponents.

Upon returning to the United States, Walt moved to South Bend, Indiana, and worked for Great Lakes Foundry, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. He was subsequently transferred to Columbus with Cummins, from where he retired in 1987, as Vice President of Manufacturing for Southern Indiana. However, nine years later, the company persuaded him to come out of retirement and manage a manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

An avid golfer, Walt also enjoyed music, traveling, new adventures, sunshine and Florida – where he learned to fish with his best friend, Rex Breeden – and golf outings with friends and relatives. He always drove convertibles, and thoroughly delighted in taking nieces and nephews for rides to their favorite ice cream place. His family was of the utmost importance to him. Walt cherished the many gatherings, celebrations and fiercely competitive euchre tournaments.

An ardent Indiana University supporter, he belonged to the President’s Circle, IU Varsity Club, Hoosier Hundred, Friends of Music, and was a current member of the IU Foundation Well House Advisors. He was past president of Harrison Lake Country Club, a former Heritage Foundation of Bartholomew County director, and member of the Masonic Lodge and Elks Club, both in Columbus. He was knighted Sir Walter Divan in 2007 and received into membership by the Portland, Oregon, Rose Festival Royal Rosarians.

Survivors include his wife, Deborah Black Divan, daughter Sue Ann Divan of Winter Park, Florida, grandson Derek Divan of Littleton, Colorado, a brother, Dave (Wini) of Irving, Texas, a sister, Virginia (Richard) Stewart of St. Petersburg, Florida; a brother-in-law, Richard Strader, Danville, IL and aunts, Carol Ripley of Longmont, Colorado, and Montrose Divan of Potomac, Illinois, brother-in-law Joe (Cheryl) Black of Seymour, Indiana, sister-in-law Susan (Mike) Edwards of Fairfax Station, Virginia, two great grandchildren, and 16 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Peggy, his son Stephen, and a sister Esther Strader. Walt will be deeply missed by his many friends and colleagues, but most of all by his loving family.

A funeral service will be conducted in Columbus by Father Stephen Banet and Reverend Peggy Casteel at First Presbyterian Church, 512 Seventh Street, at 10:30am on Saturday July 27th. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Seymour, Indiana. Calling is scheduled from 4:00 to 8:00pm Friday, July 26th at Myers-Reed Dignity Memorial Chapel, 3729 – 25th Street, Columbus, and one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, the Indiana University Foundation, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at



  • Calling Hours Friday, July 26, 2013
  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, July 27, 2013


  • Burial

Walter "Walt" Divan

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Margot Green

July 31, 2013

Debbie, I was sorry to learn of Walt's passing. I remember with great fondness how gracious he was to me at all times -- beginning when I had worked for Cummins for about two weeks and was to meet with him and Dan Prock to discuss MRP implementation. Dan, who had set up the meeting, failed to show, but Walt ushered me into his conference room and answered all my questions with kindness in spite of the fact that I had only a hazy idea of what I was talking about. He was a real gentleman, loved and respected by everyone. My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Kate O'Halloran

July 28, 2013

Debbie, I am so sorry to hear of Walt's passing. I count both of you in my list of inspirational folks - people who charge ahead regardless of the difficulties at hand. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

David Divan

July 27, 2013

Uncle Bill has been a great source of inspiration, love and spirit since my very first memories---and his final days and months were certainly no exception.
He is dearly missed, yet forever present in my life.

Marilyn Tennell

July 26, 2013

Debbie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Walt was just one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I have ever met. He was so good to me during my time at Cummins. He will always have a special place in my heart. Marilyn Tennell

July 26, 2013

Debbie, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of deep loss. Walt was a wonderful contributor and leader for Cummins, and is a person we all look up to. He will be deeply missed. Thank you for all the joy and support you gave Walt, especially over the last 9 months.
Zack and Glinda Ellison

July 26, 2013

I am so sorry to learn of your husband's passing. Please accept heartfelt condolences from Cheryl and me, a lifelong friend.