SUN CITY,  Ariz.

Walter Ernest Roder

Dec. 29, 1930 - Dec. 31, 2008

Walter Ernest Roder, 78, died Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008, in Sun City, Ariz. Walter was born Dec. 29, 1930, in Neillsville, to John E. and Nellie G. Roder.

At age 17, he enlisted in the 82nd Airborne Division. He trained at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and at Fort Bragg. He served for five years and saw heavy action in Korea, where he became a staff sergeant and squad leader.

Walter married Marimae Schumann in June 1958 in Mayville. They resided in Waukesha, where he worked as an airplane mechanic at Dale and Dean Critesí Waukesha Flying Service and at Mitchell Field Aero. In 1984, he attended Kings School of Aeronautics in Nashville, Tenn., and got his official Federal Aviation Administration power plant and airplane mechanics license to work on every kind of engine. He built an Acrosport biplane while living in Waukesha.

Walter and Marimae moved to Sun City in 1991. He built a Pitts Special biplane there. He enjoyed rollerskating and dancing.

Walter was preceded in death by his parents and his twin brother, Wendell.

He is survived by his loving wife, Marimae; brothers, John A. (Shirley) Roder and Roger J. (Jackie) Roder; sisters, Jeannine Prager, Janett (Martin) Maier and Ruth Ruddock, all of Waukesha, and Patricia (Walter) Karl of Junction City. He is also survived by his beloved beagle, Snoopy; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial service and burial is planned in Mayville in the spring.

(Freeman - Jan. 3, 2009)