Walter Darnell Potter (1929 - 2014)

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Walter Darnell (W.D.) Potter of Lynn Haven, Fla., died on March 27, 2014, at the age of 84. He was born on Dec. 22, 1929, in Vernon, Fla. He graduated from Bay County High School in 1947. Darnell served in the National Guard from 1949-1956 and was a member of their Sharpshooter Team. He retired after 40 years of employment at the paper mill in Panama City.

As a handyman extraordinaire, he could fix anything with his skills as a master electrician, mechanic and carpenter. He was also an avid gardener, fisherman, sportsman, tinkerer, and grillmaster. Darnell was devoted to his family and wholeheartedly enjoyed entertaining them with stories of the "good ole days." He was an ardent history buff and reader of non-fiction. His classic Australian bush hat made him easily recognizable, and he was rarely without it. "Grr-Grr" loved teaching his grandchildren the finer points of throwing a cast net, sharing a home-cooked meal with his family and spending time on his sailboat. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and country wisdom.

Darnell is survived by his wife, Joan Balkom Potter, and daughters, Rachel Farris (James) and Suzanne Vann (Shane). He leaves five grandchildren: Kayla, Caroline, and Carter Farris and Connor and Kingsley Vann. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Sue (Susan) Potter Montague (Jim), brother, Coy Sherwood Potter, and brother-in-law, Tony Craig Balkom. Nephews and nieces include: Eric Balkom (Dawn), Jeff Austin (Debra), Walter Austin (Francie), and Kay Ferrell, Paige Bacile, Kirsten Balkom, Ashley Alberty (Craig), Kendal Scheidt (Mike) and Stephanie Balkom Wilson (Marvin).

He is predeceased by his parents, Robert and Malvina Creamer Potter, his brother, Ross Potter and brother-in-law, Sherrill Balkom (Drusilla).

Visitation will take place on Sunday, March 30 from 2-4 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home, 214 Airport Road, Panama City. The funeral will take place on Monday, March 31 at 11 a.m. at Wilson Funeral Home. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery with Rick Mitchell officiating.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make donations to Salvage Santa, 2715 Hillsboro Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32405.

Wilson Funeral Home
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214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
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Wilson Funeral Home - Panama City
214 Airport Road
Panama City, FL 32405
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Published in Panama City News Herald on Mar. 29, 2014