Walter William Eckes, 77, of Yarnell, AZ passed away unexpectedly on April 10th, 2023.
Walter W. was born February 4th, 1946, to Walter V. and Catherine Eckes in Manhattan, NY.
After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School in Manhattan, NY, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on February 12, 1964, where after completing basic training, he was trained as a radio operator
From July 1964 to November 1965, Walter's first assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during which time he participated in the Invasion of the Dominican Republic in May and June 1965. Walter was then deployed to Southeast Asia and was assigned to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines of the 3rd Marine Division in South Vietnam in November 1965, and transferred to F Battery in March 1966. He was captured by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam on May 10th, 1966, and managed to escape from his captors on June 17, 1966. Walter made it back to friendly lines on June 20, 1966, and was transferred to Headquarters Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division later that month to finish his tour.
Walter honorably served in the US Marine Corps from 1964 until 1968.
In 1968, he met Dolores (Pitta), and they wed in 1969 having two children, Sean and Donna.
Walter moved the family from Staten Island, NY to upstate New York (Mooers Forks) in 1974 so his kids could experience the beauty of nature and live a healthier life. He started a hunting and game preserve based on the principle of wildlife conservation.
In 1987 Walter moved with his wife and family to Chandler, AZ and founded Walt Eckes and Associates, a financial services agency.
In 2001, Walter and his wife moved to Yarnell, AZ and began the Yarnell Art Association and later opened the Mountain Vista Fine Art Gallery. He developed an interest in playing the guitar and singing at many local establishments,
Walter had many passions which included motorcycling, fly fishing, bonsai, and oil painting. He continued to serve our Veterans and his Community as a member of the VFW, American Legion Post 79 in Yarnell, AZ, Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club VVMC, and the Chandler & Yarnell Chambers of Commerce.
Walter is predeceased by his parents and sister Patty. He is survived by his wife Dolores and his two children Sean and Donna; and his 3 grandchildren, Hannah, Joshua, and Noah.
Services will be held at the Prescott National Cemetery on April 24th, 2023, starting at 9:30am.