Walter Leslie Probert (also known as Walt or Les) was born in 1925 to Walter Jordan and Mildred Adele Probert in Milwaukee. His father, a railroad brakeman, was killed on the job when Walter was 13. Walter was raised in a large, extended family and attended West Division High School.
After growing up during the Great Depression, Walter volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1943 and joined the parachute infantry. He served in the 513th Regiment of the 17th Airborne Division during the Ardennes Campaign (also known as the Battle of the Bulge) and made a combat jump into Germany during the Leap Across the Rhine.
After returning to civilian life, Walter majored in electrical engineering at the Marquette College of Engineering, graduating in 1950 and getting his first job at A. O. Smith. He married his high school sweetheart, Jane Beverly Lundquist, and raised a daughter and four sons.
He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1960 and served in several parishes, including a deaf congregation.
Shortly after retiring, Jane was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Walter became her primary caretaker, making use of his engineering skills to create a speech synthesizer as well as other devices to aid in her care. After 52 years of marriage, Jane died in 2001.
Walter moved to Cedar Ridge Apartments in West Bend, met Mary Lucille Powell, and had another wonderful marriage. He continued active roles in the Episcopal Church and adult literacy tutoring.
Walter is survived by five children, four daughters-in-law and two grandsons, as well as Mary's three sons and three grandchildren.
A memorial service for Walter will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 16, at St. James Episcopal Church (148 S. Eighth Ave., West Bend) with Mother Mindy officiating.
The Probert family will greet relatives and friends Thursday at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with Walter’s arrangements. Additional information and online guestbook may be found atwww.myrhum-patten.com.