Obituary for Walter

Walter Colin

July 17, 1946 – July 20, 2015

After a courageous battle with cancer, Walter Colin, age 69, passed away at his home while surrounded by loved ones.

He was the beloved husband of Gayle; loving father of Kurt (Caitlin) and stepfather of April Saloman (Craig) and Jill Cox (Bryan); cherished Papa of Logan, Ronan, Lucas, Loralai, and Talia; treasured son of Wanda and Walter Sr. (in heaven); admired brother of Judy Rusinko (Dan), Janice Scott (David), Mike (Jackie), and Dan (Susan).

Born in New Albany, Indiana, Walter attended Providence High School (1960-1964) where he was a star cross country runner with numerous accolades including finishing first in the Clark County Invitational and lowering the 2-mile school record by 25 seconds. In addition to cross country, he also ran track and played basketball.

Walter obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics (Cum Laude) from Franklin College (1964-1968) where he was also a member of the cross country and basketball teams.  Walter fractured his leg prior to the start of his college senior year which sidelined him from playing basketball but led to his being asked, and accepting, a position to coach the freshman team. As a coach, Walter led the team to its very first championship.

In the late 1970’s, Walter moved to Arizona where he had a long career at APS as an Application & Data Integration Manager. He was a strong and caring leader who enjoyed mentoring his team.

As a supportive father, Walter enjoyed watching Kurt play the trumpet in the high school marching band. He also loved attending April, Jill, Logan, and Ronan’s various sporting events. Loralai’s dance recitals were also a big hit that he looked forward to attending. Walter was an avid photographer, magnificent carpenter, big fan of travel TV shows and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and an exceptional sports and life coach to his grandchildren. Walter was a kind hearted and simple man who so many admired for his patience, wisdom, and unconditional love.

Walter may have physically departed our earthly world, but he lives on in the Lord’s house and in the hearts of his loved ones.

A memorial service for Walter will be held on Sunday, August 2nd at 4pm at Praise & Worship Center, 2551 N. Arizona Avenue #3, Chandler, 85225. When driving on Arizona Ave, turn east on Palomino drive. Then, take an immediate right into the office complex. Google Maps Link to Church

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Walter’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help end childhood cancer. Donation Page Link

Tribute to Papa Walter

Monday was a glorioWalter1us day for Papa Walter, but a sad day for all who loved him here on earth. Around 12:50pm, Walter passed away with my Mom, April, & I surrounding him. We know Walter is in heaven with our Lord and father Jesus Christ. Walter’s spirit is free of earthly issues like cancer and he is enjoying a big welcome party in heaven.

Over the weekend, Walter spoke on the phone with all of his family members and all of his local family members were able to say goodbye in person.

On Saturday, Janice (Walter’s sister) & David (brother in-law) stopped by to say a final goodbye. Of course, as they were leaving, Walter said “I’ll get better”. We all laughed at his fighting spirit and Walter smiled.

On Sunday, Walter rallied & found extra strength when he heard Kurt (his son) was coming down from Prescott. Walter got up out of bed and walked to the living room completely on his own & sat in his favorite chair waiting for Kurt to arrive. Walter & Kurt had a special father & son bond. Walter spent time with Kurt, Caitlin, Loralai, & Talia.

In the afternoon, April, Craig, Logan, & Ronan stopped over. Papa Walter surprised everyone by telling the boys he had fought a good battle but it was time for him to go. As April said, “he was such a good Papa that he showed amazing strength by giving the boys the gift of hearing from Papa Walter himself that he was going to heaven so the boys could say goodbye”. Walter showed such strength & love.

In the early evening, Bryan, Lucas, & I arrived to have our time with Walter. Walter heard Lucas’ laugh from the other room and said ” is that Lucas” while having a big smile on his face. So we brought Lucas in the bedroom. Walter perked up and said “hey big boy”. Lucas pointed to Walter & said “Papa”. Then, Lucas gave Papa a big kiss & hug. Such a beautiful moment. Next, Walter & Bryan shared some special words and shook hands. I had another moment to say my goodbye & give Walter a kiss on his face. Of course, Walter said “oh stop your crying Jill”. Ha. He always knew just what to say to bring happiness back into a moment.

On Monday, as Walter was taking his final breaths, we played the song titled “Fly” from Celine Dion. At the very end of the song, Celine whispers “Fly, fly little wing. Fly where only angels sing. Fly away, the time is right. Go now, find the light” and at that moment Walter exhaled his last breath. Walter’s passing was peaceful and exquisite.

Walter was a strong man until the end. He never complained, not even one time. If you asked Walter how he was doing, he’d say great! He loved my Mama and his grandchildren with all of his heart. As he mentioned on Sunday, he “had a good life, good wife”.

Lord Jesus Christ, as you welcome Walter into your arms, give us the strength to live our lives here on earth without such a loving and courageous man. We will miss you Papa Walter!

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Happy Birthday Walter

Happy 69th Birthday, Walter! Thank you for the unconditional love & support you have shown my Mom over the almost 24 years of marriage. The Lord knew you could handle her big heart & spunk!

As Papa Walter, there is nothing you wouldn’t do for your grandchildren. You always enjoy attending Logan’s & Ronan’s games for every sport.

I must tell you, I am amazed at your strength and positive attitude as you fight cancer. You never complain and always say you’re doing great! This battle has shown me a completely different side of you. You are one impressive man. May the Lord continue to bless you.

Rescheduling This Week’s Dilation

Dr. Manfredi agreed we should push out Lucas’ surgery for this week until Lucas is back to 100% without the antibiotic & breathing medicines. By the end of the week, we hope to start stepping down the breathing medicines. We are sad to miss out on the many events planned for the big EA Reunion at Boston Children’s Hospital. But we know it is best for Lucas to not go under anesthesia when his lungs are not 100%.

If all goes as planned, our next surgery date is September 3. For now, we will relax in AZ & enjoy time with family.

Hugs & Kisses

After seeing Lucas’ cough get worse & worse, and barely eat anything for 3 days, we decided to start Lucas on Azithromycin (antibiotic) on Saturday afternoon. Our pulmonalogist said she would normally start a child with his symptoms on Azithromycin. But wanted us to hold off on giving Lucas the antibiotic until he started to have a fever or was really getting worse. Since Lucas had such terrible c diff in the past, our doctors want us to avoid antibiotics which could cause Lucas’ c diff to return. Yesterday afternoon Lucas had a low grade fever so we finally caved & started the antibiotic. The great news is today Lucas is coughing significantly less & eating fairly well. Hip hip hooray!

As Lucas is on the mend, he keeps asking Bryan & me for a “big hug”. Of course he ends each big hug with many kisses. It is so darn cute that even though Lucas could get us sick, we just can’t say no to his kisses. Lucas is so adorable & sweet.

Lucas finishing a chest percussion therapy (CPT) to loosen up his chest secretions.


New Cold

Poor Lucas has a new cold. 😦 The long weekend will be spent cuddling and utilizing his chest percussion (CPT) vest as many times a day as possible to make the cough subside. Plus, Lucas is back on 4 pulmonary drugs. Thankful we’ve been able to control this cold from our house rather than the hospital.

For now, our trip and dilation at Boston Children’s Hospital is still a go for July 16. Praying Lucas quickly gets better.