Aug. 21, 1914 - June 17, 2007

Walter J. Girt Sr., 92, died at Bethany Pointe in Anderson on June 17, 2007, following an extended illness.

He was born Aug. 21, 1914, in Memphis, Ind., to Issac and Jenny Swoveland Girt. His family moved to Anderson, where he met his wife, Rhea Belle Hamel. They were married on April 8, 1939, and had three children.

Walter went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II, as a fireman 2nd Class on the USS New Orleans. He was a lifetime member of the DAV. After the war, Walter and his family moved to Ripley County, Ind., and lived there for seven years. While in Southern Indiana, Walter farmed, served as an interim pastor for the Nebraska Church of God for a short time, and worked part-time as a mason and carpenter.

Walter spent most of his life in Anderson, where he held jobs at Stokely Canning Co., South Side Junior High School as a janitor, The Fair Store as a janitor and Warner Press as a night watchman. He ultimately retired from Warner Press in 1978.

Walter was a member of Jackson Park Church of God as a young man and continued to work faithfully in the church after it became Main Street Church of God. His faith in God was a very important part of his life. It got him through the trials and tribulations of life. He loved sharing his faith with others. Second to his faith, he loved gardening, cooking, fishing and hunting. He loved trying new things and experimenting with recipes.

Walter is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Mary and Joseph Ballinger of Anderson, and Jeane and David Whitmoyer of Lapel; one grandson, William Ballinger of Kokomo; four granddaughters, Victoria (Carl) Kovacs of Anderson, Katherine (fiancé, Jeremy Morris) Whitmoyer of Lapel, Melissa Girt of Anderson and Heather Leitner of Anderson; three great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jacob Kovacs of Anderson, and Ruby Leitner of Anderson; three brothers, Roy (Lois) Girt of Anderson, Paul (Nancy) Girt of Anderson and Joe (Rose) Girt of North Vernon; one sister, Linnie Kirby of Anderson; two sisters-in-law, Bernice Hamel of Anderson and Doris Hamel of Jacksonville, Fla.; extended family, Brandon, Doneetta, Braden and Maddie Kovacs of Anderson; his good friend, Bobby Harp of Michigan.

He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Rhea Belle (Hamel) Girt; his son, Walter J. Girt Jr.; three brothers, Robert Girt, Thomas Girt and Floyd (wife, Evelyn) Girt; six sisters, Ruth (husband, George) Speedy, Naomi (husband, Virgil) Summers, Sarah (husband, Dewey) Meeker, Elizabeth (husband, Herman) Chapin, Ethel Neeley and Pearl Butche; in-laws, William and Ina Hamel, Glen and Mary McVey, Ben Hamel, Bob Hamel; special friend, Emil Krieg; faithful companion for 20 years, his little beagle, Princess. He was also preceded in death by nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Services will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Main Street Church of God with the Revs. Don Billey and Arlena Wood officiating. Burial will be in Anderson Memorial Park Cemetery.

Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service, 229 S. Rangeline Road, Anderson.

In Walter’s memory, contributions can be made to Main Street Church of God.

We would especially like to extend our thanks to all of the staff of Bethany Pointe, where Walter spent the last years of his life, for their help and support.

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