Walter Arthur Greenwood
Walter Arthur Greenwood passed away on Saturday, April 16 at the age of 89 and a half years. He lived a very full and meaningful life and will be missed by many. Walter was born in Alvin, Texas on Oct 10, 1932, to Jesse Raymond and Elsie Bernadine Greenwood. As a child, the family moved to Calallen area just outside of Corpus Christi, Texas, where he attended primary and secondary schools, graduating from Calallen High School in 1950.
His college days were spent as a member of the U.S. Army ROTC program at Tarleton State University, Stephenville Texas and at Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserve on May 28, 1955. Walter’s time at Texas Tech served him well as he established life-long friends, like Herb Seigler, and set out on a life of adventure and service to others.
Walter served in South Korea in the late 50s before meeting his wife of 62 years, Barbara J Bernsen, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Walter and Barbara were married on 17 Oct 1959 and spent the next 24 years raising their family in numerous places across the globe. He was an Infantry Officer and had postings Ft Riley, Kansas, Ft Benning, Georgia, Ft Bragg, North Carolina, Ft Richardson, Alaska. Additionally, he taught ROTC at Sam Houston State College, at Huntsville, Texas, and later attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where he obtained another degree in advanced military studies. He was stationed in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 and was involved in the Tet Offensive of Jan 1968. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and numerous other medals during this critical time in history.
One of the highlights of the family’s global adventures was living in Tehran, Iran from 1971-1974. During this time, Walter worked with and trained the Iranian military. The family lived in the mountains of Tehran, and thoroughly enjoyed the culture and adventure of this time. Again, Walter and family made life-long friends that they continued to see many years later.
The family moved from Iran to Ft Benning, Georgia in 1974, where Walter was assigned to the United States Army Marksmanship Unit, as commanding officer of the International Skeet and Trap Team. Walter was in his element serving as a leader to many young world class competitive athletes of that time, several of whom went on to win world championships and Olympic medals. He loved his time on the shooting range but loved working with young people even more. He, along with his good friend Master Sargent (ret) Burl Branham travelled to numerous shooting events to include the Pan American games in 1975. He kept in touch with many of these individuals over the years and always enjoyed their visits later in life. Walter’s last assignment in 1978 was to the Army Reserve Center in Ok City, Oklahoma, he wrapped up his military career there in May 1983.
Walter went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1985. He continued to influence, mentor, and shape young minds at Del City Jr. High School where he taught 9th grade Physical Science for 16 years. He was a tough but fair teacher and his students seemed to thrive on his style of instruction. He was a student favorite for many years because he shared his life stories of travel and service to others, and he had an awesome wit and sense of humor.
Over the last twelve years or so, Walter and some of the family took annual trips to Santa Fe where they dined on fine New Mexican cuisine, took train rides, and visited friends. Walter was active and enjoying a full life until a recent illness slowed him down. He will be remembered as an all-around “good guy” … known for his work ethic, service to others, sharp wit, life stories, his Volkswagen Beetles, wonderful sense of humor, and the will to try to fix ANYTHING that was broken. Over the years, he received notes and emails from previous ROTC and Junior High students who thanked him for the influence he had on their lives.
Walter and his family loved animals and rescued numerous cats, dogs, squirrels, birds, and other living creatures over an entire lifetime. He was particularly fond of cats and was of the opinion that you didn’t actually own a cat…the cat owned you, and your purpose was to serve the cat. He is already sorely missed by his feline housemate, Otto.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Millie Cobb, and his brothers Jesse B. Greenwood and Forrest Greenwood. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, daughter Ellen, son Jesse Raymond, son James, his wife Tricia, granddaughter Victoria and her husband Darren Hardwick, and grandson Stephen Greenwood, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Dr. Diana Kennedy and her team as well as Dr Varghese for their wonderful care of Walter. A celebration of Walter’s life will be held at Matthew’s Funeral Home on 7 May at 2:00 pm, with burial at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Oklahoma Humane Society.