This tribute was added by Linda Baker on October 23, 2020
Walt and Fran are the kind of people that you meet and feel like you've known for many years. It's hard to talk about Walt without Fran because we always saw them together. They are generous in spirit and with their time and expertise. They are affirming and kind. Our hearts are breaking for Fran and family. We will miss the guy in the cowboy hat who had a smile for everyone. Linda and Bob Baker
This tribute was added by David Litrenta on October 11, 2020
Time is an essence, as is years...and so was my friendship with Skipper...HE was a GREAT Friend and a classmate.
We spent a lot of time together in HS....i.e. played sports together, hung around together and had great times.
Walt, you will be sadly missed not only by me, but all who knew you....You are in good hands now and I know GOD is taking care of you...and to Fran and your family...
This tribute was added by Sharidy Gowin on October 11, 2020
High Meadows subs are part of a small but special club. We are members because we truly love what we do. I had the pleasure of working with Walt as a sub over the last few years. Although we were often on opposite sides of the campus, we always exchanged a quick hello or hug whenever we saw each other. His smiling face and warm, gentle nature always brightened my day. I will miss him.
This tribute was added by Lee Giesecke on October 9, 2020
This tribute is from John and Lee Giesecke.
Skip added so much to so many lives especially ours. We celebrated every holiday and family event together. Skip and Fran were at every sporting event for our grandchildren. His zest for life provided an example for all of us. He was a chef, aviator, author, horseman, activist and educator. . . A true Renaissance Man, who benefitted all our lives. His was a life well lived. He made a positive difference. We will miss him tremendously.
This tribute was added by Meddie Finnegan on October 8, 2020
Walt is the kind of guy who you feel like you have known for half of your life - even if you just met him yesterday. I can't remember exactly when we met - but I know it had something to do with horses - and I know it had something to do with tying slip knots. Tying a slip knot is such a simple thing. Cross tying a horse is such a simple thing. Making sure the saddle pad is in the right spot on a horses back is simple. Walt would show me basic skills (again and again) and like any good teacher, he let me know that there was no such thing as a stupid question. Did he have opinions? Heck yeah! But he was always a friend first.

Walt's love for Bella Luna helped her recovery from an abusive situation. I got to watch him teach Koda-the-wonder-pony that the world would not hurt him any more. He knew there was a power within each of these animals that was resilient and could come back from their sad stories. I think he did that with people too - he empowered so many of us and helped us mend our broken parts.

Within a short amount of time Walt introduced me to Fran and his children and grandsons over cupcakes at a multi-age-play after party. They were clearly his "everything". I think about his family now and know that some a part of them has died with Walt. This is the result of being loved so hard by your husband/dad/granddad. You all should have had more years with him and I know he would have done anything to have more years with you.

When I walked the Camino in Spain with my daughter and wrote about it on Facebook, Walt told me over and over that my book was waiting to be written, and like tying a slip knot - it may take me a few tries, but I would accomplish that dream. All I had to do was pick up the pencil.

Walt was instrumental in helping me deal with an impending empty nest. He taught me the best parts of parenting are not over when kids go to college and grow up. Having a relationship with your adult children is where its at!  His last comment to me was about my 20-year-old daughter on her birthday - saying that the world was better because she was in it. He barely knew her, but knew her through me- so he cared about her too. That was his way.

Walt, the world was better when you were in it, and it will remain an even more spectacular place because you walked across pastures and spoke in classrooms and let your passion be felt everywhere. You found your way into my life like a foggy morning on the Meadow - quietly, with a subtle beauty that makes one pause at their luck to see such a rare and pretty sight and a little sad when the sun rises in the sky and the fog slowly slips away.

I will miss you and am honored that you chose to put me into your life even if it was only for a few years.
This tribute was added by Christine Lucarelli Regen... on October 8, 2020
I met Skip through my friendship with his sister Kris. I have fond memories of Skip while he was in Racine and meeting Fran when they got married. My condolences to the family. Skip was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed.

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