The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

the Times 

Walter (Walt) Bryan Gobel

May 12, 1944 - March 19, 2020


March 26, 2020

Walt Bryan Gobel, passed away in his sleep on March 19, 2020 at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center in Walla Walla, Washington.

Walt was the 4th born child of 5, to Paul Roy Gobel and Agnes (Brumley) Gobel in Prosser, Washington.

His family lived in Mabton, Washington where Walt attended all twelve years of his schooling and graduated with 42 classmates in 1962. After graduation he worked as a carpenter, as well as, for local farmers as an irrigation specialist. In 1963, Walt was hired by Safeway Food Production company in Grandview, Washington. During his 4 years working for Safeway he worked the night shift setting up the production lines that produced grape juice, mayonnaise, peanut butter, and margarine.

Walt was hired by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) in June of 1967. After his hire, he worked as a cadet in Kennewick, Washington before attending the WSP academy where he graduated as a Trooper in February of 1968. As a trooper, Walt was assigned to Naselle, Vancouver, and Dayton. He also served on the bomb squad during this time. He was recruited to become an instructor at the WSP academy in 1978; he loved the assignment at the academy. In 1982, Walt was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to Walla Walla, where he eventually retired in March of 1993 with 27 years of dedicated service to the people of Washington State.

After his rewarding WSP career, Walt took a position with Educational Service District 123 in Pasco, Washington, mostly training school bus drivers. In 1995, he accepted a position as Supervisor of Transportation with the Pasco School District. Walt retired again in 2007. In 2008, he accepted a "temporary" position with the Clarkston School District leading their transportation department. Finally, in 2011, he officially again retired but continued to substitute bus drive for Waitsburg and Prescott School Districts until his illness.

Walt was a true public servant, always involved in many service clubs and organizations. He held leadership positions as Boy Scout Cub/Troop Master, Little League, and Y Indian Guides, Walla Walla High School Athletic Booster Club, and the Washington State Snowmobile Association. After his kids left the home, Walt held leadership positions in Lions Club, Washington State Patrol Retired Employee Association, Walla Walla Columbia School Retiree Association, Walla Walla RV Club, Membership in BPOE (Elks Club), and Rotary Club. Recently, Walt was the Co-Chair of Waitsburg Celebration Days annual event and volunteered and was elected Mayor of Waitsburg, WA from 2010 until 2016.

Walt enjoyed camping/RV-ing, fishing, white-water river rafting, softball, and snowmobiling; not because of the actual activities themselves, but because of the amazing people he was fortunate to meet while participating in these activities. At home, Walt was an avid reader, often completing 3-4 books per week, enjoyed his yardwork, and being a home improvement guru. Walt's most favorite way to spend time was to be with his family.

Words his grandchildren use to describe him – kind, thoughtful, full of life, caring, brave, strong, real life super hero, dedicated, funny, supportive, encouraging, warm, giving, loving, sturdy, steadfast, welcoming, family man, handy, adventurous, most amazing grandpa out there.

Walt is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gwen (Lutze), and his three children, Paul (Renton, WA), Mike and his wife Mira (Walla Walla, WA) and Rachell (Prosser, WA); Six Grandchildren; Curtis (his wife Mercedes), Victoria, Emylee, Bryson (his wife Brylie), Abigail, and Olivia as well as two Great Grandchildren; Harmony and Victoria. His sisters, Marti Johnson and Patsy Gobel and His brother-in-law and his wife Bill and Johnnie Lutze, and his sister-in-law and her partner Karen Lutze and Patrick Trotter. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and many people who adopted him to be their grandfather, dad, uncle, brother, and mentor.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned for later in the year.

In lieu of flowers, or if you would like to be an inaugural contributor to the Sergeant Walt Gobel Memorial Fund via the Waitsburg Lions Club that will benefit local youth educational/summer camp opportunities please send your contributions to the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, c/o Sergeant Walt Gobel Memorial Fund, 315 W Alder Street, Walla Walla, WA.

Family and friends are invited to view and sign the online guest book at


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021