OBITUARY

Walter Lee Kirkwood

October 7, 1935September 26, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Walter Lee Kirkwood, age 84, of South Beach, Oregon passed away on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Walter was born October 7, 1935.

Walter Lee Kirkwood was born October 7, 1935 in Portland, Oregon to Robert Hodge Kirkwood and Hazel Marie (Tooley) Kirkwood. Walter joins God, in His Great Kingdom of Heaven and is preceded in death by his parents, Robert H. and Hazel M. Kirkwood, brother Ross Kirkwood, sister Hazel Long, wife Helen, wife Diana, grandsons David McFalls and Brett Connor.

Walt was raised on the family farm in Skyline, Oregon with his siblings Ross, Hazel, and Elaine. He attended Skyline Grade School and Scappoose High School while working at the Shields Ranch. He married school mate Helen Jensen in 1955. They both worked a short time at Tektronix before opening Walt’s Construction in 1960. He built everything from foundations to cabinets. Walt could build just about anything.

In 1974 Walt and Helen relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where they built their lives and their business, KirkWOOD Shutters. It was the first wide-louvered shutter manufacturer in Phoenix. Walt insisted on building a superior product, and supporting customers with top notch customer service. Helen and Walt were married 45 Years, raised 5 children together. They had a vacation home in Rocky Point, Mexico, where they built and co-owned “The Reef” a popular bar on Sandy Beach, not far from their home.

Walt loved taking his boat out in Mexico and fishing for grouper and black sea bass. At a young age, Walt loved riding and racing motorcycles, with friends and family. He spent much of his time flat track and off-road racing in Oregon, Arizona and Mexico, including the Baja 500. He has survived multiple accidents and maintained a work hard, play harder attitude. Walt was a long standing member of the Mt. Scott Motor Cycle Club and sponsored many racers with the same passion he had for racing.

Walt also loved to travel and found himself back in Oregon, visiting family and friends, bird hunting and fishing, before settling in La Pine Oregon. He met Diana Hansen, and they were married in 2003. They purchased homes in Lake Havasu, Arizona and South Beach, Oregon as well as traveling the Southwest in their Monaco motor home.

Walt continued to live at South Beach, Oregon and Lake Havasu, Arizona after Diana passed in 2016 with his dog Spud. He enjoyed gardening, puttering around the house, watching old westerns, and enjoyed an occasional margarita on Fridays. He also loved exploring the mines in the hills around Havasu in his Polaris RZR.

He was baptized during a visit to Arizona, May 27, 2018 at Surprise Christian Church.

Walt is survived by his sister Elaine Evans, sister-in-law Elaine Kirkwood, Brother-in-law Bill Long, Children: Linda Berland, Diane & Ed Connor, Leanne & Stan Kudish, Kevin & Jennifer Kirkwood and Robert & Karen Kirkwood. Adam & Tara Gregory, Dave Gregory, 19 grandchildren, 21 great grand children, 5 great-great grand children and numerous nieces and nephews.

Walter Lee Kirkwood passed peacefully, surrounded by family on September 26, 2020 at Glenwood Memory Care in Vancouver, Washington, just 11 days shy of his 85 birthday after a valiant battle with cancer and dementia.

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and he let me watch him do it.” -Clarence Budington Kelland.

The Celebration of Life will be held for immediate family and friends (per Covid restrictions) at Skyline Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home on October 17, 2020 at 11 am. Live streaming will be available on: https://www.facebook.com/skylinememorialgardens/ In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Walt's name to: Surprise Christian Church: www.surprise.church Meals on Wheels: www.newportoregon.gov/dept/par/sc/mow.asp

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.skylinememorialgardens.com for the Kirkwood family.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

Memories

Walter Lee Kirkwood

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Craig Connor

October 17, 2020

Grandpa, you taught me so much over the years and I have so many memories of good times spent with you and Grandma. You treated me me like one of your own, and were always there for me as a kid when I needed someone to lean on. There are so many memories good and bad, but certainly way more good than bad. Bob is right, you had one crazy life, and it was something to watch at times for sure lol. You taught me how to be tuff and not to take shit from anyone. I have always said that you were the hardest working, toughest, craziest mofo I ever knew. I learned a lot from you about work ethic, responsibility and respect. You and grandma gave me opportunities and believed in me when others did not, and for that i am and always will be eternally grateful. I do not have many regrets about the time we spent together, but as with everyone I regret the time spent bickering and the time that wasn't spent together. I will always keep the memories of the time we spent together close to my heart. You were an absolute wild man who lived life on your terms and you just have to respect that., right wrong or indifferent you were going to do it your way and i f-ing love that about you. I always respected you but of corse some times you scared the crap out of me too. But you almost always treated me with respect and a kindness that i will never forget. IF there is a heaven i hope you are up there and have found a killer fishing hole and are just kicking it with Jesus, telling stories about wild times, motorcycle racing and all the good times spent.. Just try to be chill and not to take over the place lol. I hope you have an eternity surrounded by the ones you love. Thank you for all of the lessons good and bad. They helped shape me into the man I am today. I always have and always will love you.

Love,
Craig

Sally Mueller

October 17, 2020

Uncle Walt,
I love you so much... You were always very nice and kind to me... I want to let you know I really appreciated the talk we had while you danced with me at my wedding... I know I thanked you then... I just wanted to thank you again for talking to me about Daddy...
Did you know that your smile was so wonderful to see... It made me smile too... I hope you rest well and keep smiling 😃 Say Hi to Daddy for me... I am sending you HUGE HUGS and a kiss on the cheek 😘...
I love you, Sally

Perry Schlanger

October 17, 2020

Best to all of Walt's family. He was a man's man and it was good to know him.

LeAnn Kirkwood

October 16, 2020

Dad, I'm sorry Diane and My pictures didn't get in the Family Photos. The first thing I want to say, is I'm sorry for not making it up there to see you before you passed away, and your service. Doctor said no. I've had lots of tears over this. At least Bobby got to say what I wanted to say,, and Kevin put me on Video with you before you passed away. I didn't think this would be as hard for me to let go but it has! MEMORIES: (1) Detroit Lake every summer and camping trips. Lots of water skiing for 2 weeks. (2) After work we would go to Jeb and Mary's Private Beach on the Willamette and Ski until after dark. (3) Mount Scott Motercycle Club Run, in Eastern Oregon. We'd always fit in the Tye Valley Rodeo. (4) Motercycle Races with Jack Stafford and Dick Jaygo. Di and I were so excited when we were little, to be Trophy Girls and kiss Matt on the lips. Hahaha! (5) Grampa coming to help you at Washington Dr. I can still see him walking out of the barn with his overalls on!!! I so loved Grandpa!!! (6) Party time in Cholla Bay, Mexico. You were known as Papa Reef and Mom as Momma Reef. LOL. Thats enough memories. Great ones though!!! I love and miss you so much. I miss our phone talks with Stan and I. Give Momma a big kiss from me!!! Love you, LeAnn

Robert Kirkwood

October 8, 2020

You lived a crazy long life old man. You never gave up, but your poor body did. I will never forget all the crazy times we spent together riding motorcycles, racing, the beach, fishing, diving, traveling, and the crazy parties. You were not perfect, but you were an AMAZING Father to me. I will miss all the times we got to spend together, and wish there were more, now that you are gone. I know you are in Heaven above with Jesus and everything is much better now. You are probably doing the Skyline Shuffle with all the pretty ladies up there and Jesus is just shaking his head... I miss you Dad. You will always hold a big piece of my heart. Right now tears flow, but I truly believe that this life is not meant to be easy. God gave His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, and I was glad to get to share that with you. I am glad you truly took it to heart and believed in Jesus. You were my "one." It makes it all worth the pain and suffering. I will see you again someday. My work here is not finished. I have more to save. I will make you proud Dad. Keep up the dancing. I will join you soon enough!! I will always LOVE you! Robert.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Dan, Linda, and Linda

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt's 83 birthday
South Beach, Oregon

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt & Kim

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt's siblings
Elaine Evans, Ross Kirkwood, and Hazel Long

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Dan, Linda, and Linda

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt's 83 birthday
South Beach, Oregon

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt & Kim

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt's siblings
Elaine Evans, Ross Kirkwood, and Hazel Long

FROM THE FAMILY

Robert, Kimberly, Kelly
Walt, Elaine, Ross, and Hazel.

FROM THE FAMILY

Friday margaritas!

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt, Robert, and Hazel

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt and Kim.

FROM THE FAMILY

Walt and Robert

Learn more about the Kirkwood name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM