ForeverMissed
Tributes
This tribute was added by John Wolff on August 7, 2020
Its funny what you remember from high school. We had to do a long distance race in P.E.. Not sure what year, grade 8 to 10? I surprised myself by coming in 6th, but I was just skin and bones then. But I still picture Walter running strong in front of us and him winning the race. Walter liked the same sports of volleyball and badminton. Used to play him at lunch hour for fun. I work with Izumi and she went to Gladstone, she's a few years younger, she remembers Walter playing volley ball and how he was such a strong player. It was a shock to see that Walter had passed. He was a super nice guy, so smart and strong. I wondered how his life went, so it was great to see he had a great life, with all these wonderful pictures. 
           My deepest Sympathy
                        John Wolff
This tribute was added by Sharon Taylor on August 5, 2020
Linda and family,
It has been a month and still it is hard to offer something comforting. Walter had so much more life to live, and he is lost too soon. I think of Matthew and his fiancee and how Walter will be missed for their upcoming wedding. I think of Alexzandria and Mikaela, and how they will miss having their dad walk them down the aisle, (if they too do a traditional wedding :)). All the times that having your dad there for advice, support, a quiet shoulder to lean on... Walter as a one day grandfather, teaching the younglings the little joys of life, building forts, hammering nails, kicking a ball, or volleying it! Getting them their first bikes! I am so saddened by all the hopes and dreams we carry in our souls that Walter will not be physically here for.

What I do believe, and firmly so, is that Walter's spirit will indeed be ever present. We leave our legacy on earth by our deeds and contributions. Nothing speaks more to this that our love of family and friends and the joys as well as sorrows we share. I can imagine Walter being simply so satisfied and proud of his beautiful family and the strength that he was assured would continue. 

Walter's recent determination to get that backyard deck ready was a mission as important as any bridge or building he ever constructed, for that deck would be a foundation for the family and the next generation to follow, firmly grounded with love, sweat, work, determination and the desire to overcome. All the ingredients for a strong life partnership.

I think back to your biking trips through Europe, even after Walter's first diagnosis. Both you, Linda, and Walter are such shining examples of active living and embracing travel and culture with a gregariousness and energy that is infectious. While I don't know the half of it, I am certain you have more memories tucked away over a lifetime of travels and outdoorsy adventures - some baked in the heat of the sun, some with sand and water sticking to your toes, some drenched in downpours, some cozied up in front of a roaring fireplace. All of these are precious and will forever be with you. 

Walter will be sadly missed, but as the loss subsides, the richness of the many gifts and memories he made with you will grow stronger and will fill your hearts in uplifting ways, even when they are tinged with tears of missing him.

We are filled with sadness too, but so grateful for Walter being part of our extended "family". May God and Walter's spirit bring you comfort.

Love Shannie, Andy & Family
This tribute was added by Frank Klassen on August 1, 2020
Dear Linda,

Even knowing of Walters situation and the dire situation he was in it came as a shock to hear of his passing. He was such a strong person. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to you and your family. Our prayers are with you as you move forward from here. May God bless.

Love

Barbara & Frank Klassen
This tribute was added by Gary McKenzie on July 31, 2020
Walter and I would have both started Gladstone at about the same time. He in grade 8 and me in my first posting as a teacher. Walter was later in my Chemistry 11 and 12 classes. I was just learning my craft in those days and was inspired by students such as Walter who were talented, attentive, and patient in class. He inspired me to become a better teacher. I will always be grateful.

Gary McKenzie
Gladstone teacher
1967-2001
This tribute was added by Sheryl Freeman on July 30, 2020
Dear Linda,
My thoughts have been with you throughout this struggle. Like so many of the posted tributes, I will long remember Walter's quiet determination in this battle. It does not surprise me that so many of us know so little about Walter's accomplishments. This is because when you are with Walter it is all about you - he asks how you are doing and he listens attentively. He is a superb host. My thoughts and prayers are with you now and in times to come,
Much love
Sheryl
This tribute was added by Tony Costa on July 26, 2020
Once in high school I was poised to return a spike from Walter. He hit the ball so hard, it knocked me on my back side. A powerful sprinter and a really nice guy.

My condolences to Henry and Peter and to Walter's family may his Spirit always bring strength and peace.
This tribute was added by Jeff Richards on July 24, 2020
Mikaela, Linda and family

In all the years Jacquelyn and Mikaela were volleyball team mates, Walter was the consummate 'volleyball dad' - always willing to explain the game to me, and to offer encouraging words and personal coaching to help Jacquelyn improve her game. She always appreciated that! We both did. He was a true gentleman.

He will be missed.

With condolences,

Jeff and Jacquelyn
This tribute was added by Victoria Catto on July 24, 2020
Even though we were cousins I always thought of Walter as a brother as we were only 16months apart. As a child the highlight of my summer was always going to stay for a couple of weeks with Walter, his brothers and his mom. He was the same as a child as he was an adult very caring, compassionate, loved sports, always a little stubborn but we always had the best of times. Our favourite outing was to go to Little Mountain Park. These thoughts of our childhood keep flooding back into my mind and make me smile as they were happy times. The fight with this terrible disease showed the depth of his character, he was my hero.
From my family to Walter's family cherish all your great memories.
Love you All,
Vicky, Rick and Family
This tribute was added by Paul Tomei on July 23, 2020
It was a pleasure to work with Walter and to get to know him. I first met Walter in 1990 while attending a day Seminar at UBC for Post Disaster Inspection of Buildings (Walter was the instructor). I learned a lot that day and the learning continued years later when I joined him at BPA. That is when I really got to know what a great structural engineer he was. 

Walter was a partner in the firm, demonstrated strong technical competency and was also a great mentor and teacher to our young engineers.  His years of experience showed and I was always amazed at his ability to conceive of sound structural solutions with almost no preparation. You could go to Walter with a complex undefined structural problem and he would have a detailed solution or White Paper prepared for you the very next day.

Walter was well know and respected within the structural engineering community and just today I was in a meeting where the project Architect mentioned him by name and thanked him for his contributions as the Engineer of Record for the new Corpus Christi Elementary School in Vancouver.

You can never replace a quality person, family man and engineer of Walter's caliber and he will be truly missed. I want to thank Walter and his family for all that he has done for both myself and our company.  He is an inspiration for all of us to follow. I'm sure that if it were possible, that Walter has already drafted up plans and submitted for permit application with building authority in Heaven to start his next project.

May you rest in peace and continue to help make the universe just a little bit better.

Respectfully,
Paul.
This tribute was added by John Sherstobitoff on July 22, 2020
I am truly grateful for the long friendship I had with Walter as we journeyed through volleyball, engineering, and raising families. He truly was a great man, and it was a privilege and pleasure to have had him as a friend, a teammate, and an engineering colleague for over 40 years.

Walter and I first met at UBC Civil Engineering and graduated together in 1978. In addition to engineering we shared a love of volleyball and had many great times traveling and playing together, first at UBC then on Club and Masters teams. One of my favourite off-court memories is a celebration after Nationals that somehow involved a phone book. Who knew he was stronger than Superman! I’ll never forget his sheer joy and ear-to-ear grin while proving to us that he could tear a phone book in half! 

It was difficult to see such a wonderful guy have to face such difficult health challenges over the last few years. Not many people could maintain such a positive outlook with his diagnosis, but Walter did. Having known him for so long, this was not really a surprise. He demonstrated time and time again his can-do attitude, always meeting challenges with strength, courage, grace, resilience and perseverance. While he left us far too soon, he will remain an inspiration to all of us.

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to see him one last time on July 1 along with several other UBC volleyball teammates. He was so full of energy sharing his athletic stories, yet so calm and at peace. 

I am really going to miss him. My heartfelt condolences to Linda, Matthew, Alex and Mikaela and the rest of his family.
This tribute was added by Gina Green on July 22, 2020
Hi guys, we are all so sorry to hear about Walter! Such a hard time. We hope he is at peace now and you will soon smile about all your amazing memories. Thinking about you X0
the Greens
This tribute was added by David Rollins on July 22, 2020
I first met Walter at Gladstone Secondary. Like Walter, I was also interested in science and mathematics and we shared many experiences in those classes. In particular, we were Chemistry 11 lab partners and we both survived Mr. Holt’s dreadful teaching of Geometry 10. My career path took me away from Vancouver so I didn’t to see him much but Tim kept him up to date. I admire his perseverance as he fought cancer in his later life. His positive outlook during adversity should be a model for all of us. David
This tribute was added by Tim Loo on July 22, 2020
Walter and I go all the way back to Grade 1 and remained friends and colleagues throughout our lives. Walter lived two blocks from my house, and we attended McBride Elementary School. We were in the same class from Grade 1 to 7.  That’s me with Walter in the picture. In Grade 2 in Mrs. Hope’s class we were studying medieval history. Walter and I paired up for our project which was a medieval stock with holes for your head and hands. Walter and I spend many after school days building this stock. I remember every time I tried to cut or drill the wood for the stock, Walter wouldn’t let me touch it. He would redo my work and take over. We got an “A” for the project. That was just the start of our friendship and how we interacted over the 59 years I have known him. Of course, living in the same neighbourhood we went to the same high school at Gladstone. Walter of course was a jock but also one of the brains. All our classes were together and he excelled in Math and Sciences. Of course, I couldn’t touch him in P.E. as I was afraid he would knock me over. He was always the biggest and strongest kid in school. Walter was quite a fast runner and competed in the provincials. I think he came in 2nd in the province in the 100 m.  Twenty years later at a company picnic we had a challenge to see if I could beat him in the 100 m. Walter just edged me out but we came in far behind the 8 and 9 year olds. Walter and I both ended up at UBC in Civil Engineering, Walter being a year ahead of me. After university we again caught up as we both worked as Structural Engineers at Dominion Construction and then at Omicron. Walter and I have worked on many building projects together. As been the case throughout our lives, Walter would always redo my work and take over. What a team! Camping trips with Linda, Matthew, Mikaela and Alex and my family has been fun too. Guess who always built the fire.
Walter has had a great life. I’ll really miss him.
This tribute was added by Rob Hill on July 22, 2020
Walter and I were teammates at UBC in the mid-80's. I was the youngest on the team; he was the oldest. Back then, I learned a lot from him about being a student athlete. Work hard, don't squander the opportunities that come your way (but have fun). Be patient - your time will come.

I ran into him January at the Team Canada Olympic qualifier. He proudly introduced me to his fine son, Matthew. We traded periodic emails after that. I always admired his strength of character which remained clear and present right to the end. Once again, I found myself learning important things about life from my old teammate. I'm fortunate to have known Walter.

My condolences to you, Linda, Matthew, Alexzandria and Mikaela.
This tribute was added by Gordon Klassen on July 22, 2020
Spending time with Walter in consultants meetings, on site and at golf tournaments was always fun and even a joy! I loved his stories of his volleyball conquests. Walter was a creative engineer, but always designed with the boundaries, which was much appreciated. He will be greatly missed by myself and Robert Friesen, in our office at site lines.
This tribute was added by Rene Rose on July 22, 2020
I am an old friend of Linda and Walter and my heart breaks for Linda, Matthew, Alex, Mikaela, all his family and friends. I will always remember Walter for his easy smile, endless energy and wonderful hugs.

I am proudly guilty to have played a key co-conspirator role in the match making of Linda and Walter at UBC back in 1980… Linda had “seen” Walter around the UBC gym playing volleyball and she thought he was pretty cool. She discovered he was going to be coaching the tryouts for a UBC Intramurals women’s Volleyball team, so Linda wanted to try out. She said she wouldn’t go to the tryouts alone, so she coerced me into going and participating with her. As a hopeless, non-volleyball player, I protested as It was abundantly clear I was a total misfit among the amazing caliber of women volleyball players in attendance, particularly Linda. Linda shone, captured Walters attention, and made the team! Walter was very kind when he cut me from the tryouts, albeit a little puzzled at what I was doing there in the first place. 

Walter was very shy and much to Linda’s chagrin he didn’t ask her out right after the tryouts. She was smitten. And Linda was determined, as only Linda can be, to get a date with this tall, handsome, quiet, wonderful Volleyball jock! So we created a dinner party event to be held at my apartment just so she could invite Walter. She asked him and he came! And so, the inspiring, wonderful Linda and Walter romance began and the rest is history.

They made a wonderful team. Their combined energy was second to none. They enjoyed so many incredible adventures together. I was always amazed at the places they traveled, the mountains they climbed, the trails they rode on their bikes, their abundant hikes, and how truly compatible they were. The stories they have to tell seem endless. And I know they were planning so many more. It is so unfair to have such an incredible life cut so short. 

Linda, I am here for you. You are an incredibly strong person, but I can’t imagine your sorrow. I know you will carry Walter with you forever in your heart, no matter where you go, what mountain you climb, or what adventure you’re on. He will always be remembered with a smile and with admiration. I only wish I had spent more time with both of you over the years, they just disappeared so fast! It makes me happy to know you have had 40 very full, busy, active, loving, chaotic, memorable years together and that you took good care of each other. You and Walter created 3 beautiful and talented children together and his love and wonderful attributes will live on within each of them. Walter was a rare gem and he will be missed. Sending you many hugs Your pal, Rene xoxo.
This tribute was added by John Pao on July 21, 2020
I have worked with Walter for over 20 years.

Walter was an engineer’s engineer. He loved what he did, and solving engineering problems was in his DNA. He worked until the very end. Nothing stopped from doing what he loved. When he had he first cancer surgery, he came back to work immediately after so he wouldn’t let our clients and staff down.

The day after he had his tongue removed, he was texting the office to make sure that all his projects were looked after and RFI’s answered.

He couldn’t talk, but he came into the office anyway to solve design problems.

After he was told he couldn’t come to work, he was answering RFI’s and coaching the office on how to deal with issues while still taking full charge of his projects.

He was a deep thinker and addressed engineering problems like he did life, based on sound principles and high morels.

The structural engineering profession lost a true professional. There will never be another like Walter.

I didn’t hear from Walter for more than a week. Knowing Walter there must have been a reason why he wasn’t connected to the office. So, the news of his passing was not unexpected.

Walter, you had many admirers and all those who look up to your true professionalism and the way you live life. Everything you did was to the fullest, whether it’s structural engineering, raising your family, playing volleyball, traveling and cycling with Linda. I will miss the ability to come to you with a technical problem, then have you research all of the world’s available literature over night and come back to me with the best approach to the problem the next day. You are one of Vancouver‘s best!

Our condolences to Linda and their three outstanding children. We wish them all the best knowing that Walter is at peace now. I am sure that there are more buildings in heaven that Walter would like to design.

RIP Walter, you went out like you lived your life, never say never!
This tribute was added by CAROL CLARK on July 19, 2020
We only met Walter and Linda once but we knew we liked them both very much! First impressions of Walter was that he was a very kind and caring Dad and a very gentle, man! I see echoes of him in Alex as we continue to welcome her into our Clarkclan here in Scotland! Definitely, taken from this world too soon! We send our love and care to all the Janzen family and extended families, but especially to Linda, who will find it hard going for some time but with the support of all around her, will learn to live a life without her soulmate. Love c x
This tribute was added by Alex Janzen on July 18, 2020
Tribute from Keith Spurr:

"As the Father in Law to Walter it gives me great pride to read the many compliments written about Walter in the numerous cards of condolence received by the Janzen Family.

Having known Walter for over 40 years but living in Toronto and the Janzens in Vancouver gave me limited time to know Walter that well by only visiting Vancouver twice or more each year gave us little time together.

I am extremely proud of Walter's accomplishments as an expert engineer and his knowledge in the construction business.

In reading the condolence cards I have learned more about Walter's life than the time I have known him. I didn't know about his academic and team sport achievements. I am amazed at what a remarkable life he lived. That just shows how reserved and humble he was.

I am sure that his fatherly legacy will be carried on by his 3 children

In closing I am honoured that Walter asked me several years ago if he could call me "DAD" since his maternal Father left the home when Walter was a young boy."

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