Walter Lane Ellsbury passed peacefully at his home in Albuquerque, after a battle with cancer.
Walter is survived by his wife, Yan Wang; son, Andrew Wang Ellsbury; mother, Opal Lea Ellsbury of Parachute, Colo.; brother Robert Lynn (Teresa) Ellsbury of Farmington; sisters, Dianne (Larry) Dayhoff of De Beque Colo., and Karen Ellsbury (Patrick Hazen) of Farmington; special cousin, Judith Lemley of Oakland, Calif.; cousins, Wanda Ellsbury (Dave) Nichol of Hot Springs S.D., Cathy Lea Topper and Carol Lea (Orley) Lucero of Cortez, Colo.; nephews, Scott Dayhoff, Steve Dayhoff (Diana), Robert Ellsbury, Matthew Ellsbury and Adam Ellsbury (Anna); and nieces, Aurora Ellsbury Morris (Maurice) and Wendy Ellsbury Dalton (Mel); as well as numerous great-nieces and nephews.
Walter was preceded in death by his grandparents, Marvin and Juanita Ellsbury, and Luther and Flora Lea; father, Robert Lee Ellsbury; cousins, David Ellsbury, and Greg Lemley.
Walter was born in Farmington and raised in Cedar Hill. He graduated with honors from Aztec High School in 1968. After high school, he spent several years with his cousins Judith and Greg in the San Francisco Bay area. He traveled the United States and then returned to the Farmington are,a where he worked in the energy industry and for several years worked at the Port of Entry at the State Line in the Cedar Hill area. He attended San Juan College, where he earned his associate degree in electronic engineering and then moved to Las Cruces, where he earned his bachelor's degree in physics. He was also honored with an award for being on the of the top 100 physicists in college in the United States at that time.
In 1988, Walter traveled to Beijing, China, where he taught English at the university. When the Tiananmen Square uprising happened he was forced to leave the country and came home via Tokyo, Japan. On Feb. 18, 1991, Walter returned to China and married Yan Wang in her hometown of Xian. They were introduced through Walter's good friend and her brother, Jim, who lived in Las Cruces. Walter and Yan lived in Las Cruces, had their son Andrew and thus began the best years of Walter's life.
Walter worked for White Sands test facility in Las Cruces and retired from Thunder Scientific in Albuquerque, where he was a meteorologist/calibration tech. He was a talented woodworker, silversmith, woodcarver, clarinet player and one-time beekeeper. He always had a great story to tell and was full of knowledge about almost any subject. Walter was a devoted father, husband and son who called his mother every day when she moved to Colorado and always kept in touch with his family wherever they were. Walter was a rare combination of brilliance, common sense and humor.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and stories of his eccentricities will keep his memory alive for generations.
Memorial service for Walter will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Chinese Christian Church, 9600 Ranchitos Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122.