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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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March 30, 2023

12/9/2022 5:29:00 AM
David Walters

David Walters joined the love of his life, Joan (Weber) Walters, on Dec. 2, 2022. He is survived by his daughter, Tammy Walters (Eagle, Colo.), his sister Phyllis Bliese (Wausau) and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. His stories and love of the outdoors will be missed by family and friends.

Dave was the eldest son of Damon and Alma Walters, founders of Philip Walters family farm in Marathon County. Dave helped his father clear the land for farming, log trees, hand-cut lumber with cross saw and build a milking barn that is still in use. One of Dave's favorite stories was about helping Damon clear out stumps with dynamite.

Dave served his country in the Korean war in 1952 and 1953. He worked in the 74th Engineers motor pool where he learned to operate bulldozers.

Dave built roads for USA, Greece, Turkey and Afghanistan forces. Returning to USA, Dave moved north to Oneida County, working for the DNR where he continued to operate bulldozers building many roads in the Northwoods that are still used today for back country access, snowmobiling and skiing. As a warden for the DNR, Dave had many adventures in the back country including chasing poachers, snowshoeing many miles to count deer, encounters with bears and angry bees and fighting forest fires with his bulldozer.

Dave and Joan were married June 18, 1955 and lived outside of Lake Tomahawk. They enjoyed polka dancing all their lives together.

In the '60s Dave and Joan purchased a grocery store in Lake Tomahawk they expanded to Walters' Superette known for its hand-cut meats. Not content with operating a grocery store, Dave sold real estate, assembled Ski Doos and opened a Laundromat. Dave loved snowmobiling and built one of the first snowmobiles in Wisconsin for the DNR. He guided friends on many day trips on the back roads he built working for the DNR. In the late '60s, Dave raced in the Hodag 50 Cross-Country Snowmobile Race. Dave and Joan organized several trips to Yellowstone when the park first opened to snowmobiles

Dave and Joan were founders of the New-Tom Sno-Fleas snowmobile club in Lake Tomahawk. They organized the snowmobile trail system that is still in use in the area. Dave built several groomers for the Sno-Fleas that were studied by other clubs in U.S. and Canada.

Dave and Joan enjoyed traveling. Free time found them fishing in Canada and taking many trips out west. One memorable trip to Arizona included a two-day mule ridge into the Grand Canyon. Other memorable trips included visiting Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Germany and Switzerland.

Dave loved the outdoors. Golfing, snowmobiling, hunting, walking in the woods and fishing were some of his favorite things in life.

Dave and Joan took up golfing which became a passion. Summers at their home on 17th hole of Pinewood Golf Course in Harshaw and winters on the Gulf in Pensacola, Fla. Not content to just play golf, Dave worked as a starter at Northwoods Golf Course in Rhinelander, and Osceola Golf Course in Pensacola. Dave enjoyed walking in the woods looking for lost golf balls, cleaning and reselling the balls. He had a golf ball room with thousands of golf balls.

Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 9, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Minocqua, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Union Grove Cemetery in Harshaw.

Bolger Cremation & Funeral Services is assisting the family, please visit

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