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Walter Burrowes Holcombe


1927 - 2020
Walter Burrowes Holcombe Obituary
Walter Burrowes Holcombe
January 20, 1927- January 7, 2020
ELIZABETH, IL- Walter Burrowes Holcombe, age 92, of Elizabeth, IL, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, to reside in the place that has been prepared for him. After a brief visitation beginning at 10AM, a Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11AM at Galena Bible Church in Galena, IL. A luncheon will follow. Visitation will also take place at Law Jones Funeral Home Friday, January 10, from 4-6PM at Law Jones Funeral Home in Elizabeth, IL. Memorials may be given to Share International African Mission and the Galena Stauss Senior Care Community. Family and friends are invited to share in Walter's life at lawjonesfuneralhome.com.
Walt, known to many as "Burr", was born January 20, 1927, the second son of Robert F. and Helen V. (Moffett) Holcombe, in Kansas City, MO. He had one older brother, Robert F., Jr. and a younger brother, Thomas R. Holcombe. He moved to the farm in Elizabeth on his 11th birthday, attended one room schools in Derinda and Pleasant Hill (where he was taught by his mother) before attending Hanover High School. They were poor during the Depression but learned valuable lessons of faith, hope, love, and perseverance. He was in the class of 1946 but was drafted to serve his country before graduation. He completed his high school credits for graduation with the Army, before being shipped overseas. After serving as a paratrooper w/ the Army's 11th Airborne (187th RTC) in the occupation of Japan, Walt attended college at Kansas State University, graduating with an MS in Geology. On October, 3, 1953, Walt married Marjorie Lois Brown in Topeka, KS and they remained faithful to each other until death parted them, with Marge passing just this past August. They raised 2 children, Elizabeth Helen, born May, 7, 1955, and Robert Thomas, born November, 9, 1957. As a father, Walt was a firm but fair disciplinarian, and was kind, gentle and full of wisdom.
Walt started out as an oil rig geologist in Texas and Oklahoma until the jobs moved overseas. He found work as a draftsman at the Savanna Army Depot in Savanna, IL, and worked his way up to packaging specialist. He ended his working career at the Rock Island Arsenal in 2000, widely known for his ability to solve unique packaging issues involving explosives anywhere in the world.
Walt was a fixture in Boy Scouting in the Quad City (Illowa Council) area for over 50 years as a Scoutmaster, Explorer Post leader, trainer, and mentor, primarily with Troop 6 in Davenport. He guided over 40 young men to the rank of Eagle Scout, and shaped the lives of thousands of other young men and women. A skilled outdoorsman, he led numerous trips to Philmont Scout Ranch in NM, the Boundary Waters in northern MN, and the Rawah Wilderness in CO during his many years guiding Scouting, Venture Crew, and Methodist Youth Fellowship groups. He received many prestigious Scouting recognitions over the years but his focus was always on the young people in his charge, not the awards, and they loved him for it. Many of his former youth maintained contact with Walt well into adulthood.
Walt was a believer in Jesus, having bonded to Christ in his youth. He was raised in a Baptist home, converted to Methodism as an adult, and in his later years attended Galena Bible Church. He always strove to live a clean, God honoring life and set a fine moral example for all to see. In many ways, his life was his witness. Walt was a model citizen, a proud veteran, a strong, courageous individual, a caring husband and father, and a loyal friend. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth O'Toole (Tom), his son, Robert Holcombe (Sarah), his grandson, James O'Toole (Kinal), his nephew, Richard, (Susan), niece Diane, and nephew Robert.
Walt was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Marjorie, his brothers Robert F. Jr. (KIA, 509th Airborne, Belgium) and Thomas R., and his granddaughter Colleen Elizabeth O'Toole.
Published in Quad-City Times from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2020
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