On October 27, 1926 in Lela Texas, a hearty baby boy came rushing into the arms of his parents, John Calvin and Emma Lee Hyatt Spurlin. So began the Legacy of Walter Kenneth Spurlin Sr. (Hipper). A Legacy that would span 94 years 11 months and 14 days, from Lela Texas to Reydon Oklahoma, around the world twice on a ship with the United States Navy. To the Texas / Oklahoma Panhandle continuing to Alaska and finally returning to Oklahoma.
In 1930, the family moved from Lela to Reydon. They had fruit Orchards and operated a dairy to supply the local communities. Walter loved helping his Uncle Walter with his Hereford Cattle and his horses. They traveled by the Railroad hauling the cattle to all of the shows. Thus began Walters love for the Hereford Breed of cattle. Walter Attended Midway and Reydon Schools graduating from Reydon in 1943. Walter entered into the Navy on October 10, 1944 where he met his future brother- in-law Delmer Jordan. One night the two sailors were in their bunks sharing stories and Delmer showed Walter a picture of his wife Violet (Olives sister). Walter commented how beautiful she was to which Delmer replies: If you think she is beautiful you should see her baby sister. The Sailors went home on leave and Walter went home with Delmer. Delmer, Walter and a couple of the Randall boys were breaking horses for an auction……. As relayed by Olive, Walter got bucked off and landed at her feet with a silly grin on his face. Olive became Walters bride on October 27, 1946. Delmer was best man and Violet was Matron of honor. Walter served in World War II on the USS Corduba (AF-32) as a machinist mate III class. Walter left the Navy with honors in 1948.
After leaving the Navy, Walter and Olive made their home in the Texas / Oklahoma Panhandle. Walter worked at different jobs, gin operator, mechanic, road construction, and as a farm hand for the local farmers. In the spring of 1960 the family set out for Alaska traveling the AlCan Highway in an old yellow school bus converted into a motor home. They joined their best friends, Lavelle and LauraMae Chisum and Skinny and Jerry Chisum. The 3 families helped each other to make improvements on their homesteads to acquire a clear clean title to their 160 Acre plots. Their first home was 2 surplus quonset huts hooked together. They had no indoor plumbing, water or electricity. Lighting was kerosine lanterns, water was hauled from Montana Creek, Goose Creek and Sheep Creek. The family moved to the Sunshine area and made their home in a 2-story log cabin. Still no indoor plumbing, electricity was powered by a generator that was only used a few hours a day. Water was an old farm hand crank pump that came up through the kitchen. When Olive was in the hospital giving birth to Colleen, Walter enlisted his neighbors to help install indoor plumbing and upgrade
Olives Kitchen—— even painted it EARTHQUAKE PURPLE!!!! While in Alaska, Walter worked for the Bureau of Land Management surveying and building roads all over the state. He helped survey, and build the roads and infrastructure for Mount McKinley National Park on the Denali Highway. Walter worked for the Alaska Railroad, initially on the work train as a spreader operator and later was able to be assigned to the Sunshine Station where he worked as a RailRoad lineman until he retired in 1975. While in Alaska the family grew in strength as well as numbers and along came Almira, Ada, Robert, Colleen and Paul. The family worked together hunting, fishing, gathering and gardening to supply the pantry for the long winter months ahead.
Walter is proceeded in death by his wife Olive, his parents, John and Emma Spurlin; 2 sisters, Mavis Spurlin, and Nadine Chandler, a brother James Garver Spurlin (Buck) . A son Paul Franklin, a daughter Leila Gibson, a grandson and 3 great grandsons.
Walter leaves behind eleven children, Larry and Barbara Spurlin; Ron Gibson; Richard and Linda Spurlin; Kenneth and Vickie Spurlin; Nancy Stauber and Rob Edwards; Iren Spurlin; Stephen and Oletta Spurlin; Natalie Robison and Dave Cogar; Almira and Jimmy Horn; Ada and Ramon Gutierrez; Robert and Corrine Spurlin; Colleen and Gary Snell. He also leaves in his wake a whole trainload of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and many many other family members and friends all over the world. Walter never knew a stranger!
When the family returned to Oklahoma it was to the family farm where Walter was raised. He was able to once again pursue his passion raising Hereford Cattle and Quarter horses. The family began a custom harvest business following the wheat fields all the way from Texas to the Canadian Border. Walter left behind quite the Legacy. He will be missed by all that loved and knew him. Please share your memories and stories that Walter shared with you.
RIDE HIGH WALTER ON THAT GREAT BRONC IN THE SKY
Services will be held Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at the Reydon Gymnasium officiated by Mark Haney.
Interment will be immediately after at White Rose Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Chris Whinery and the staff of Affordable Cremation Service-West. Condolences can be made online at www. classfunerals.com