Back to Last Roll Call Home Page   

Anderson H. Walters
"Sandy"

Company H-2

30 Jun 1939 – 30 Aug 2001

Place of Death: Winston-Salem, NC

Interment: Lebanon National Cemetery,
                Marion County, Kentucky

 

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken 

Sandy Walters was an adventurer. He sought to understand ideas and life by experiencing them. Mottos he lived by, and taught his children to live by, included such simple but powerful phrases as: “Can’t never did anything”; “I think I can, I think I can”; “If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it"; "Use a bigger hammer”; and “Duty, Honor, Country”.

Sandy was born on June 30, 1939 to Philip and Elizabeth Walters in Johnstown Pennsylvania. He was the younger brother of Gomer Walters. The family moved to Ligonier Pennsylvania, and named their home and 40-acre mountainside home “Cliffwood”. Dad delighted in sharing the nooks and crannies of his boyhood with his children: the site where he dug a pole vaulting pit and filled it with wood shavings, the field where he head-butted a goat; the pool of frigid spring water where he spent many summer afternoon, the school where he stayed after hours with his chemistry and physics teachers to build things and then blow them up. The kids joked that the sure way to get Dad to visit was to have something for him to fix. We were sure that in his retirement he would break things just so he could fix them.

Dad loved his time at West Point and in the Army. He regaled us with stories of how cadets had to brace while eating and how he had to recite about cows’ production of milk, and about how all that he did was challenging, but worthwhile. His customary wake-up call whenever he had to wake us up was an off-key rendition of reveille.

Dad met mom, Zo Kathryn “Petie” Eggleton, while at Fort Knox on the First Class summer trip. There was immediate chemistry. After a six year courtship, they married on June 25, 1966. Sandy and Petie had four children: Jennifer Lynn, Anderson Howel III “Tom”, Barbara Zo, and James Winston “Jym”. After several military assignments, including two tours in Vietnam, Sandy was assigned to Wake Forest University as Professor of Military Science. Winston-Salem, North Carolina became the family’s permanent home. Sandy finished his Army career by building three ROTC programs to capacity, leading the ROTC Advanced Recondo site, and inspiring a generation of young people to become Army officers. Included in that number, was Sandy’s own daughter, Jennifer.

Sandy retired from the Army in 1981, and went to work with IBM as a Systems Engineer, trouble-shooting with one of IBM’s largest contracts. His work did not stop there. He taught various computer courses at Forsyth Technical Community College. He taught orienteering, and set up many difficult courses for competition around North Carolina. There is no doubt that he fondly thought of his old Ranger Buddy, John Kammerdiener, when he was setting up and running these courses. Flying was another favorite activity; “severe clear” weather was a sure sign that he’s try to “bore some holes in the sky”.

Dad was a man who took pleasure in the simple things of life. He laughed heartily at goofy jokes. He savored physical accomplishments, like reaching the top of a mountain or running a 10K road race. He relished using all seven tiles in a scrabble word. He appreciated the beauty of nature, the power of the ocean, and the strength of bears.

Tom remembers Dad’s enjoyment of fishing and of the annual 24-hour pier fishing adventures he and Dad shared. Jym remembers that satisfaction on Dad’s face as he sat down on the porch of the cabin that the two of them built by hand on the family’s acreage in West Virginia. Barbara remembers Dad’s bowling prowess (the 7-10 slit story is true), and the fact that he would take her to the stock car races. Mom maintained that the noise did not bother Dad after spending all those years with tanks. In all of these things, Dad was fully present. He had enthusiasm and energy for virtually any adventure.

Shortly before his death, Sandy and Petie celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with friend and classmate, Brendan Battle and his wife, Alice, on an Alaskan cruise. They sailed on a small ship, only eighty passengers, so that they could get as close to nature as possible. The delight with which Sandy told about seeing bears on the shore, about flying over the glaciers, about seeing eagles by the dozen, would bring a smile to anyone’s face. It was the realization of a dream and he shared it freely without being at all pretentious.

Sandy also enjoyed his last summer at the beach house that he and Petie had bought a few years earlier. They spent happy days there with their children and grandchildren. Sandy put in full days with the grandkids, digging in the sand, splashing in the waves, riding boogie boards, chasing seagulls, and looking for shells. As he always was, Sandy was the team leader.

A classmate writes that Sandy was a natural athlete, and a fierce competitor. At West Point, he tumbled on the Gymnastics team, and played B squad football. He was proud of the fact that he practiced every day against the best A squad players on the Army team. He made them better players. If Sandy’s physical size had been as big as his heart, he would have been an All American. As far as his family and friends are concerned, Sandy was an All American husband, father, and friend.

On August 23, 2001, Sandy suffered a catastrophic heart attack. His family assembled in the hope that he would pull through with his typical strength and determination. As the hours passed and no changes were evident, we realized that we were instead gathering to bid a loving farewell to a man, who through his honest, honorable, kind, and loving ways enriched us all. Sandy drew his last breath on August 30, 2001. He is buried in Lebanon, Kentucky, at the national cemetery. His resting spot is atop a slight rise, an appropriate place for the man who loved being point man, to watch and wait for us to come, each hopefully having taken his example and lived happily and fully the rest of our days.

Written with love by Sandy’s daughter, Jennifer

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages\H-2 Sandy Walters.pdf

It is with great regret and sadness that I am forwarding this to you [The Class of 1961]. Sandy, “May it be said, ‘Well Done. Be thou at peace.’” — Brendan Battle — Thursday, August 30, 2001

Sandy is survived by his wife Zoe “Petie” Eggleton Walters, two daughters, two sons, a brother, and four grandchildren.

His brother-in-law, Father Chris Eggleton, O.P., officiated at the funeral mass in Winston-Salem on August 31.

The news about Sandy Walters is a stunner. Of course Sandy was well known from cadet days in the Lost Fifties. Subsequently, he was in the same platoon with me in Ranger School where we had our own specialties — Jim Madden and I with the rope bridges — Sandy and John Kammerdiener were point and compass, respectively. They were good! Sandy, the bull, always out on point. I also know that he worked hard to pull the company together, and had the great H-2 turnout at the last reunion. He will be missed. — Bob Glass

Sandy was a “known quantity” ... pure gold! The personification of the West Point “Can Do! ” spirit! A dedicated professional and incredible friend and Classmate! Truly, a “one of a kind” human being. He’s missed already, as I sit here at my desk. — Bruce Shroyer

It’s not fair. Sandy has always exercised and kept himself trim and fit. Alice and I took an Alaskan trip with Sandy and Petie in May and all Sandy wanted to do was climb all the mountains. He never smoked or drank. He did all the right things. He needs all of our prayers now. Sandy was a man who is truly loved by many people. He taught us all a lot about what it means to be a good friend. His friendship was never obtrusive, but constant, helpful, selfless. He anticipated what was needed and filled that need. — Brendan Battle

Petie and Sandy Walters, Alice and Bren Battle

Pictured (left to right) are Petie & Sandy Walters, Alice & Bren Battle. The picture was taken on a trip in May 2001 aboard the Spirit of Discovery at the Tracy Arm Glacier in the Alaskan Inside Passage. The trip was in celebration of Sandy & Petie’s 35th wedding anniversary. Bren reported that the way you see Sandy in this photograph is the way he was until the very end.

Brendan, tell Petie that she is not by herself. She has a class standing beside her. I hope that she can feel our closeness and our prayers for Sandy and her. — Gabe Gabriel

Sandy graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Ohio State University with a master’s degree in Operations Systems Research Analysis. After retirement from the Army, he worked for and retired from IBM. Continuing an active life, he was teaching at Wake Forest University and Forsyth Technical Community College at the time of his death.

On Saturday, 22 February 2003, Sandy's family gathered at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, PA to dedicate the Sandy Walters Memorial Frisbee Golf Course. His son, Jim, works at the college and designed and built the course in memory of his father.

Memorials
In lieu of flowers the family wishes that Memorials be made to:
USMA Class of 1961 Gift Fund
Association of Graduates, USMA
698 Mills Road
West Point, NY 10996-9910
or
St. Leo’s Hispanic Ministries
1975 Georgia Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
or
Southern Domininican Province of St. Martin de Porres
1421 N. Causeway Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70001-4144

 
Saint Vincent College Flag Honors Westmoreland County Native
 

A flag installed at Saint Vincent College last week honors the memory of Lt. Col. Anderson (Sandy) Howel Walters, II, a native of Waterford who served two tours of duty in Viet Nam during a lifelong military career.

The flag, a mammoth 20’ x 30’ display, will fly 24 hours a day atop the 100’ flagpole at the highest point on campus near the construction site of the new Sis and Herman Dupr Science Pavilion. The flag is visible for miles around the area.

A gift from Zo Kathryn Walters of Wilmington, North Carolina, it was arranged by her son, Jym Walters, a 1996 graduate of Saint Vincent College who works there as coordinator of campus recreation and as head field hockey coach. Participating in the flag’s installation were Jym’s wife, Christie, a 1998 graduate of Saint Vincent, and their daughter, Carolina, who sported an Army hat belonging to her uncle.

“When I was growing up in elementary school, I was on the flag guard and we would raise the flag in the mornings and take it down after school every day. I did that for two years,” Mr. Walters recalled. “My father was in the Army and a 1961 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. My mother always liked the fact that I would raise the flag at South Fork Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was always into flags and made a big deal about the Fourth of July.”

“Since my father passed away in 2001, I have been looking for an appropriate way to honor him. When I heard that Saint Vincent was in need of a new flag, I thought this would be a great way for my mother to honor him and to support Saint Vincent in a special way,” Mr. Walters said.

Lt. Col. Walters graduated from Ligonier High School in 1957 where he was captain of the varsity football team. He served twice in Viet Nam. He was a Ranger early in his career and later served in West Germany where two of his four children were born. When he returned to the states, he earned a masters degree at Ohio State University and later ran the ROTC program at Wake Forest and a training school at Fort Bragg.

Photo: The Walters Family – Christie, Carolina and Jym – presented a 20’ x 30’ American flag as a gift from Jym’s mother, Zoe Katherine Walters of Wilmington, North Carolina, in honor of his late father, Anderson (Sandy) Howell Walters, that will fly 24/7 over the Saint Vincent College campus.