Dr. Walter F. Werner (Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force (Ret.), loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, pastor and friend, went home to be with the Lord on May 1, 2012.
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Walt was born in Yonkers, N.Y., and received his B.A. from Manhattan College, an M.B.A. from Western New England University, studied for a Doctor of Ministry degree at Evangel Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology degree from Biblical Life College and Seminary.
In his professional life as a U.S. Air Force officer he began his career in 1967 at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., with the Electronic Systems Division working on the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) program. In 1971, Walt came to the Armament Development and Test Center, Eglin AFB, Fla., as a Public Affairs Officer. Subsequent assignments included Thule, Greenland, Hanscom AFB, and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 1979, Walt separated from the Air Force, joined the Air Force Reserve and continued his career with the Air Force as a civilian, first as Director of Security Review and later Deputy Director of Public Affairs at Air Force Systems Command, Andrews AFB, Md., and then as Director of Security Review at Air Force Headquarters, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Walt retired in 2001 to pursue the ministry full-time.
As proud as Walt was to serve his country, his true calling and his first love was serving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, alongside his wife, Sue. Walt devoted the last 30 years of his life to the ministry at home in the United States, as well as traveling to and supporting ministries in Israel, Ghana, India, Bosnia, Panama, Outer Mongolia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Russia and China. Besides his ministerial studies, Walt also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his many years of national and international achievements and contributions to the ministry.
Walt is fondly remembered as Senior Pastor of Living Word Ministries in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Springfield, Va., and providing weekly services for the last 10 years at Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin, Fla.
Walt is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years and ministry partner, Susan (Scofield) Werner; son, Jeff (Kathleen); daughters, Lauren Storie (DeWayne) and Stefanie; and sister, Janet Kempner (Bruce). He was affectionately known as "Poppy" to his grandchildren Bethany, Liam, Jacob, Elise, Caleb and the newest Werner, due this fall.
A celebration of Walt's life will be held on Saturday, May 12, at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin, Fla. Visitation will be at 5 p.m. and the service will begin at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to his memorial fund can be made to Living Word Ministries P.O. Box 1000, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549.
You may express condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on May 10, 2012