Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Oran D. Walters, 79

| March 31, 2024 12:00 AM

Oran Walters passed away peacefully at home after a short battle with lung cancer. Oran was born to the late Cort Walters and Mary Walters (McLean) on March 30, 1944, in Kalispell.  He grew up on a farm in the Birch Grove area with his parents and two uncles who came to the Flathead Valley from Chinook after the Depression. Oran knew of every fishing hole along the Whitefish River in the Birch Grove area and would often recount interesting stories of fishing and bird hunting. Oran always called the Havre area “God’s Country," and few seemed to agree with him.  One time Oran was hunting with a family member south of Havre where they were waved through a hunting check station in a convertible with a trunk full of deer without tags. Oran said they waved and smiled as they drove by. 

After graduating from Flathead County High School in 1963, Oran took a construction job at the new aluminum plant being built. The construction job led to a career at the aluminum plant of over 40 years. While at the aluminum plant Oran worked in casting, rectifier, and environmental control. During his time in environmental control, Oran would constantly be challenged by some new person always thinking they needed to fiddle with controls, resulting in Oran being called for advice on how to fix the system, even after retirement. 

During Oran’s time at the aluminum plant, he also farmed. One time during harvest he took a nap at the grain bin where he was unloading wheat. Even the sound of an empty running grain auger could not wake Oran up after 36-plus hours without sleep from two 12-hour night shifts and harvest during the day. Oran retired from the aluminum plant in 2006 where he proceeded to focus on farming. Oran’s passion was farming where he enjoyed the challenge of how to make ends meet while constantly deciding what technology to adopt. While Oran liked his flip phone, he also respected technological advancements in agricultural machinery, especially the ability to no-till. Oran recognized the decision to adopt “no-till” as tough, but the most important advancement the farm made.

Oran Married Victoria Little in 1975. Oran was always telling people he never said “I do” at the wedding but Victoria would shake her head and contradict him. Oran was blessed with 48 years of marriage.  

In Oran’s younger years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, swimming, race cars, his Model A, boating and waterskiing on his ski sled on Echo Lake. In his later years, Oran enjoyed visiting with friends over coffee talking about the old days, farming, and his desire to own a Corvette (he knew all of the options). Oran loved dogs; they were a special part of his life. His favorite dog was a sheltie named Barley who accompanied him everywhere.  

Oran is survived by his loving wife Victoria Walters; his sister Sandy Howells; his devoted son Cory Walters (wife Lia Nogueira); grandson, Edward Walters; and granddaughter, Adela Walters. Oran was preceded in death by his parents, Cort and Mary Walters; Uncle Harry Walters; Uncle Max Walters; and his dog Barley.

A private burial will be held at C. E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held this summer sometime between the end of June and beginning of July at the farm, 2136 Trumble Creek Road. A notice will be published in the Daily Inter Lake.