Originally Published: January 8, 2017 6 a.m.
Walter Edward Conway passed away while surrounded by his loving family on January 2, 2017, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, where he resided with his wife, Margaret, since 2004.
Walt was born in 1921 in the small Nebraska town of Sterling. He joined the Army in 1938 at Fort Mead, South Dakota. Following training, he was assigned to the mounted Cavalry in a horse company. In 1940 his unit mechanized and he switched from a horse to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. After further training, he was sent to the Aleutian Islands. When the war began following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Walt and his unit were sent to Hawaii. From there he spent the rest of the war serving in a variety of locales including Midway, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, the Marianas Islands, the Philippines, Saipan, and Korea where he was on hand to take the surrender of the Japanese occupying forces at Kimpo Air Base. Following his service in World War II, Walt fought in the Korean War where he and his men were the first American unit to face Chinese troops.
At the conclusion of the Korean War, Walt spent time at the Pentagon before serving as a military advisor in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama (where he was Post Commander) and Vietnam. His last posting was at the Presidio, in San Francisco, where he retired in 1965.
Following his retirement from the Army, Walt settled in the San Diego, California, area for a few years where he served as the first ROTC instructor at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California. From there, he moved to the Central Coast of California where he lived in Pismo Beach and Santa Maria for the next 30 years. During that time, Walt worked as a successful real estate agent in the Santa Maria Valley and helped many people purchase a home in the community.
As much as Walt was hero for his decorated service to his country during multiple wars and conflicts, he was even more of a hero to those who knew him and the people he touched throughout his life, on a daily basis, with his kindness, gentleness, and good-natured approach to every situation, large and small.
Walt will be remembered and missed by his many friends and extended family. A service will be scheduled at a later date.
The family wishes to thank Good Samaritan Rehab, Tina’s Place, and Family Hospice Services for the wonderful care and many kindnesses shown to Walt.
Information provided by survivors.