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Reuben F. "Wally" Waller  WWII


Sept. 12, 1916 — June 4, 2009.

MONTROSE — Reuben F. “Wally” Waller, age 92, passed away on June 4, 2009 at his home in Montrose. Wally was born in Kilgore, Texas to John Homer and Emma (Reid) Waller.


Wally was the last survivor of his 11 siblings. He joined the Army at age 17 and did two tours of duty, one before and one during World War II. Out of a platoon of 32 men, Wally and two other men were the only ones to make it off Omaha Beach in the famous D-Day Normandy invasion. Staff Sgt. Waller and the men of K Company of the 23rd Infantry advanced on the Vire River, where at the Battle of St. Lo, he was wounded by a mortar round which tore into his hip and back. This would be Waller’s last military battle. His old army jacket’s ribbons show he earned a Good Conduct Medal, along with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his valor. He would scoff at being called a hero, replying, “The real heroes never came home alive, they died over there.” Wally somehow miraculously survived, and needs to understand that sometimes heroes do survive. He is a “hero” to his daughter Linda, who will always be grateful to him for the freedom he gave to all of us by serving his country. On Dec. 8, 1941, while still in the service, Wally married his life-long sweetheart, Kathleen Patterson, in Cheyenne, Wyo. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in December 2006, six months before Kathleen’s passing. After Wally was wounded, he was sent to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver to recover and he and Kathy stayed in the Denver area (Thornton), where they raised their four children. Wally was a mechanic for the Rocky Mountain News for many years and in the late 70’s he and Kathy moved to Ridgway, where they purchased the Sunset Service Texaco Station. Over the next 10 years, they learned the meaning of work after retirement, before moving to Montrose.

Wally is survived by his four children; Dennis Waller (Jan), Montrose, Linda Waller-Alsbury, Montrose, Mark Waller (Pam) Grand Junction, and Leslie Varisco (Tom) Rockford, Ill; eight grandchildren, 17 great- grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. Wally was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen in 2007.

Wally was an avid bowler, skilled gardner and master fisherman. He was a gentle soul with an honest heart and a friend to everyone he met.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, in memory of Wally Waller, P.O. Box 1804, Montrose, CO 81402. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at 2 p.m., at Crippin Funeral Home chapel. A graveside service with Military Honors will follow the service at Grand View Cemetery, Montrose, Colo. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, 802 E. Main St., Montrose, CO 81401 (970) 249-2121.

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