On May 5, 2019, Walter A. Cripps died peacefully at the age of 95, surrounded by family, following a short illness.
Walter was born on November 24, 1923 and was, since childhood, a lifelong resident of White Pine County. Walt loved horses and the rural lifestyle spending his early years at the old White River ranch, raising hay and herding sheep between the winter range in White River Valley and the summer range over Success Summit and into Duck Valley. Walt later trained thoroughbred race horses and saw some success at local race venues.
In 1943, Walt answered his nation’s call and served primarily as an ambulance driver in the United States Army, 29th Medical Depot Company. Walt left White Pine County for the war from the Requa Depot, riding the train pulled by Engine No. 40. Walt’s wartime service took him from the fields and farms of White Pine County to prisoner of war camps in Arizona, through France and into conquered Germany. Following Germany’s surrender, Walt was shipped to the Asiatic Theater of Operations where he saw the liberation of the Philippines. Following the surrender of the Japanese empire, Walt finished his service with the 29th Medical Company working out of their temporary base of operations at the Tokyo General Hospital, before mustering out of the service in 1946.
Following the war, Walt returned to White Pine County and continued working as a farmhand, construction worker, truck driver and delivery man. At one point, Walt spent a brief period of time working on the construction of the ammunition storage bunkers in Hawthorne, Nevada. Walt also spent a brief period of time working as a fireman on Engine No. 40, the “Ghost Train”.On June 12, 1950, Walt married his sweetheart, Carrol Call, in the L.D.S. Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their marriage was solemnized by the late President Spencer Kimball. The couple had six children (Kathleen, Colleen, Michael, John, Leah, and Daniel) and had been married 62 years at the time of Carrols’ death in 2012. During this time, Walt was active in church activities and served as a scout master for the sponsored troop.
Walt and Carrol had a love of education and strove to ensure that their children received good educations. Walt led by example. He attended Lund High School, but due to the demands of the farm, he was unable to finish. In his 60’s Walt went back to school and received his high school diploma from the Steptoe Valley Adult Education school.
Walt worked at the Kennecott mines first as a haul pack driver, then as a shovel and drill mechanic until 1978 when Kennecott ceased operations in White Pine County. Then, that same year, Walt took a job that he loved the best. A bus driver.
Walt spent the next 20 years driving school buses for the White Pine County School District. Walt loved to attend the various events that school trips afforded and prided himself in safely transporting the children to and from school and school functions. Many still remember the kind bus driver who dressed in costumes for the holidays.
Following his retirement from driving school buses, Walt began to exercise his interest in photography. Many have enjoyed his scenic photographs of the County and his artwork has been displayed in many venues. Walt was once invited to display his photographic works in the Getchel Library on the University of Nevada-Reno Campus.
Walter is survived by his children, his sisters Lola (Jim Nielsen) and Ada (Paul Butcher), his brother Dick Judd (Ruth), numerous grand children, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Carrol, his grandson Cade, his brothers Lewis, Conray, Milton and Ward.
Any who knew Walter knew him for the honorable, decent, kind and generous man that he was. On their 69th anniversary, June 12, 2019, we will reunite Walt and Carrol for their journey through eternity and we will celebrate a life well lived. Services will be held at the Lund Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 10:30, followed by internment in the Preston Town Cemetery. The Lund Ward Relief Society will be hosting a luncheon immediately thereafter at the Lund Ward.