Walter K. Priester
February 11, 1925-April 28, 2021
DAVENPORT-Walter K. Priester, 96, of Davenport, Iowa passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Private family services will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Burial will be at Oakdale Memorial Gardens. Memorials in Walter's name may be made to the National Rifle Association or to the American Heart Association.
Walter was born on February 11, 1925 to Walter A. and Dorothy Priester in Davenport, Iowa. He was united in marriage to Nancy Dunn on April 21, 1957; she preceded him in death in 2007. He attended St. Ambrose Academy, there he received an academic scholarship to Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Prior to starting college, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving until he returned to Cornell where he earned his BS in Civil Engineering. Walter spent his working career at Priester Construction Co., which was started by his father and uncle in 1919. Along with his brother and cousin, they made Priester Construction Co. a predominant firm in the Quad Cities.
While serving on many local boards and organizations, Walter's passion was on the National level of construction across America. His time and influences greatly affected the industry for years to come. He had many years of service for the Master Builders of Iowa eventually serving as President of the Organization. Walter spent his entire career in various board roles for the Associated General Contractor of America, the preeminent contractors organization for the United States. He was a National Director for many years, ultimately serving as National Board Treasurer. In 1982 he was made a Life Director for his outstanding service for the AGC. He and wife Nancy made countless longtime friends through the organization, relationships that lasted for decades.
Walter "Wally" had a true passion for golf which was a huge part of his life. He had several lifetime foursomes over the years which were his dearest friends, often called the "burglars". He maintained a great game ultimately breaking his age 467 times, which he kept in a very meticulous golf diary. He was one of the initial Founders of Crow Valley Golf Club, a group of individuals that turned a vision into a reality of real magnitude.
Upon retirement Walter took on a new and different role that broadened his life even further. He and Nancy traveled extensively throughout the years both in the U.S. and abroad. But their "paradise" was Hawaii, which they visited every year for months at a time. Besides being a great athlete with a very competitive nature, he was a highly skilled craftsman and artist. He enjoyed and could make, fix or paint anything. Any issue that required brainpower or crafty hands Walter could overcome.
With more time at hand, the family became his main focus. Spending time in both Iowa and North Carolina, the opportunity to have quality time with his children, their spouses and grandchildren became a focal point. This is a tight knit group like no other and he truly realized the rarity, quality and importance that his family had brought to his life. He will be missed but each carries a little Walter Priester in them every day.
Walter is survived by his children Susan Rathje, Ann (Mark) Collison, and Dave (Julia) Priester; grandchildren: Charles (Jessica) Rathje, Katherine Rathje, Benjamin (Candice) Collison, Peter Collison, Lora (Chris Muffie) Collison, David (Christy) Priester, Jr., Zachary Priester, and Jacob Priester; and great-grandchildren Audrey and Isaac Rathje, Adalynn, and Ellery Collison, and Reagan and Macie Priester. He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy; his parents; brother Tom (Susie) Priester; and son-in-law Randall Rathje.
Online condolences can be made to the family by visiting his obituary at www.weertsfh.com.