A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at the Elk's Lodge in Mountain Home, and military honors will be provided by the American Legion Post #26. Cremation was under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.
Walt went to school in Mountain Home. He entered the US Navy in 1951 during the Korean War where he spent one year in Adack, Alaska, three years on the USS Dixie, a destroyer tender, where he traveled all over the world. He was very proud to be part of the Navy and was very patriotic.
Upon his discharge he returned to Mountain Home and helped run the family ranch, operate heavy equipment, as well as logging for several years. During this time he met his future wife, Karen Marble, and was married on Nov. 18,
1961. Together they had three children - Mitzi, Lorin and Clista, who all enjoyed traveling throughout Idaho with Walt as he worked running heavy equipment for the Operating Engineers Union.
Walt helped build many highways, interstates and dams throughout Idaho. As the kids got older Walt took a job operating heavy equipment for CC&T Land & Livestock Company in order to be home with the family.
He later established his own heavy equipment business, Ford Construction, from which he retired from in 2000.
Walt's life was centered around his family and he thoroughly enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchild.
He was a man who saw the beauty of the outdoors from the desert to the mountains. He loved teaching and sharing camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and horseback riding with family and friends. Many hours were spent around a campfire laughing and having good times.
Walt was known for his dry sense of humor and practical jokes. He was also the first one there when someone needed help or moral support.
Walt is survived by his wife, Karen, of Mountain Home, daughter Mitzi Spalding of Cataldo, Idaho, son Lorin and his wife, Cristena Ford, of Mountain Home, and daughter Clista and her husband, Mike Hutchins, of Idaho Falls, grandchildren Fred Spalding, Kristin Beghtel, Derek Hutchins, Miranda Jacoby, David Blackman, Jeffrey Jacoby and great-granddaughter Samantha Beghtel, sisters Carolyn Hunt and Joy and her husband, Hugo Zimmerman, brother Lee and his wife, Sandy Ford, sister-in-law Rosie Ford and numerous nieces and nephews. Walt was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Don, and a sister, Roberta.
In lieu of flowers suggested contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or American Diabetic Association.