Walter Edmund Michalke, 87, peacefully went to be with his maker on Feb. 22, 2013.
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He was born May 1, 1925, in Harlingen to Maude and Henry Michalke.
In August 1949, he married the love of his life and best friend, Barbara (Barky) Bible, and they stayed happily married until Barky passed away in August 2009.
Walter served on active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps from June 1953 to October 1945. During World War II, he flew over 20 missions in Europe as a B-24 navigator. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a captain from October 1945 to November 1966.
He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1959 with a degree in electrical engineering.
He was an ardent supporter of all Longhorn athletic teams and established an engineering scholarship in his name. He was a member of the Chancellor's Committee at the university.
He was a faithful and loyal employee and manager for the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) for over 35 years.
After he retired, with Barky, they established Barky's Travel World travel agency; in addition, he was a very active Rotarian in both Rockdale and Niceville, Fla.
They were active members of St. Johns Methodist Church in Rockdale and the Niceville United Methodist Church.
Walter was also a very successful commercial and residential realtor/broker in Austin and Niceville.
He loved being with all of his family and traveling with Barky around the world.
He was also preceded in death by his two sisters, Wilma and Ruth, and his brother, Son.
Walter is survived by his daughter, Rowena Michalke Ortega of Rockdale; his son, Douglas Walter Michalke of Atlanta, Ga.; his son, Dana Lee Michalke of Beaver, Pa.; their three spouses; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. at St. John's Methodist Church, 1700 Hillcrest, Rockdale, TX 76567 on Satur-day, March 23.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Walter's name to your local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Mar. 9, 2013