Walter E. Bumgarner of Arcadia, died March 2, 2014, at Independence Hall in Broken Bow. He was born Oct. 27, 1914, to Elton M. and Fanny I. (Linden-struth) Bumgarner on the family's farm in Webster County, Mo.
In June 1951, Walter met Josephine Fells in Arcadia, and they were married Dec. 22 of that year.
Walter was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; all his brothers and sisters; two brothers-in-law and their spouses; and a sister-in-law and her spouse.
He is survived by a brother-in-law, Bob (and Donna) Fells of Arcadia; nieces Vera Bumgarner (and LeRoy) Drake of Galesburg, Ill., Jo Fells (and Stan) Heyen of Ceresco, Jeanne Fells of Arcadia, and Karen (and Doug) Sargeant of Maryland; nephews, Donald (and Kathy) Bumgarner of Rogersville, Mo., Gene (and Kathy) Bumgarner of Springfield, Mo., Bob (and Julie) Bumgarner of Marshfield, Mo., John Fells of Arcadia, William (and Brenda) Gates, Ill., and Harold (and Karin) Lerew of New Mexico.
Walter grew up on the farm he was born on, received an education in rural grade school and the Northview High School. As a young man he worked on his father's farm and for several neighboring farmers.
Early in life he decided that his life work would be as a beekeeper, producing honey for the market. The summer of 1942 he worked for a beekeeper in Mich-igan learning the trade. Walter served in the US Army Air Force from Jan. 6, 1943 to Dec. 6, 1945, mostly in the Pacific Theater during WWII servicing radar and radio equipment on the planes of the 9th Troop Carrier Squadron. He worked for his dad in 1946, then in May 1947 he headed for Iowa looking for work with a beekeeper. In Sioux City, Iowa he met Frank Cook, a Minnesota beekeeper moving to Arcadia, Nebraska and worked for him for six years.
In 1954, he bought bees and established his own bee business in the Arcadia area, selling and retiring in 1984.
Walter liked working with the bees, gardening, and working with wood.
Walter believed very strongly in the constitutionally limited government of our Founding Fathers; believing that the republic was, by far, the best form of government man had ever devised. He often would challenge those who would change the republic to any other form of government contending that it would be a loss of personal freedom, often using public forum to express his views.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Govier Brothers Mortuary Chapel in Broken Bow, with burial in Arcadia Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army.
Published in Custer County Chief, March 6, 2014