Walter Raymond Beatty

March 24, 1916 ‒ May 06, 2011

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Walter Raymond Beatty, age 95, of Mount Gilead, passed away Friday evening, May 6, 2011, at the Woodside Village Care Center.

On March 24, 1916, Walter was born in Chesterville, Ohio, the son of the late Walter Franklin and Leola Lucille (Holt) Beatty. He was a graduate of Cardington High School in the Class of 1934.

Walter’s life forever changed on a blind date in 1937 when he met the love of his life, Leola Evelyn Geckley. After a courtship of eight months, they were married on August 21, 1937 in the Lutheran Parsonage in Cardington. Together they raised three children and were blessed with over 73 wonderful years of marriage.

In 1945, Walter was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve his country in World War II. He was sent to Biloxi, Mississippi for airplane mechanic school. Just as he had received orders to report to Greenland, fathers with two children were released from service.

He and Leola started their journey together at the Wornstaff Hotel in Cardington where they lived for a short time before moving to Marengo. Over the years, Walter worked many jobs to provide for his family. He worked for Snyder’s Milling Service in Marengo where he managed to lose part of his thumb in a feed grinder accident. In 1947, Walter and his family moved to Homer Fuller’s farm, just east of Pagetown. He worked hard on the farm until 1952 when he took a job with North American and moved the family from the farm to town. In 1956, North American wanted him to relocate to Florida, so Walter took a job with GM in Mansfield. He spent 22 years at GM and retired in 1978. In 1980, Walter and Leola moved to Mount Gilead, their final move.

As a young man, Walter enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting, especially pheasant, groundhog, and squirrel. Being crafty with his hands, he enjoyed building Martin Bird Houses. He liked gardening and kept a beautiful rose garden. His other hobby was buying older cars, restoring them, and then reselling them.

Walter loved to be out on the road on his bike, until his motorcycle accident in 1983. He then downsized in his later years and rode around Mount Gilead on his moped. Many people in the area referred to him as the “Mount Gilead Road Runner.”

Walter’s morning ritual was to open up shop with the boys at C&D Chevrolet with a cup of coffee and a good conversation. Once a week he would treat them to donuts with their coffee.

Nothing was more important to Walter than his family; taking care of them and being there for them. He loved road trips with the family to go camping. He was always chatting away on his CB, using the handle “Cricket.” He and Leola were very involved in their children and grandchildren’s lives, making it a point to attend all of their school activities. The holidays were a special time for the Beatty family to be together. Walter especially loved Christmas, making it a contest to see how many Christmas lights he could get on the house. The excitement of Christmas Eve and the joy at the family Easter egg hunts will always be cherished by the entire family. He was a stern man, but his kind, loving heart will be missed by all.

Walter will be dearly missed by his wife Leola, of Mount Gilead; two daughters: Mary Muretta Roth of Marion, Beth Ann (Charles) Simpson of Mount Gilead; a daughter-in-law, Rebecca Beatty of Westerville; eight grandchildren; twelve great grandchildren; a brother, James Beatty of Cardington; two sisters: Claudia McLain of Mount Gilead, and Beulah Smith of Cardington.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Arnold R. “Buzz” Beatty; a son-in-law, Paul Roth; one brother, Richard Beatty; two sisters: Mildred Shoop and Marjorie Bunnell.

You cannot say, you must not say

That he is dead. He is just away!

With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,

He has wandered into an unknown land.

And left us dreaming how very fair

It needs must be, since he lingers there.

So think of him faring on, as dear

In the love of there as the love of here;

Think of him still as the same, I say;

He is not dead, he is just away!

The Beatty family will greet friends from 1 – 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 S. Main St., Mt. Gilead. A Celebration of Life Service will take place immediately following at 2 p.m. with Matt Mailey officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the V.F.W. Post 8054 and AmVets Post 87 will follow at Rivercliff Cemetery.

Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mt. Gilead, OH 43338.

For those wishing to express their private condolences online to Walter’s family, you may do so by visiting