Walter Deforest Van Fleet, born April 12,1944, passed away in his home on July 17, 2022 at the age of 78.
A proud veteran of the United States Navy, Walter enlisted at the age of 18 and devoted the first part of his adult life to serving his country. A Vietnam war veteran, he greatly valued his service to his country and spoke often of his 30 years of service, as a radioman in the Navy.
After retiring from the service, Walter met the love of his life Linda. Together they ran a small town music store for a few years. After closing the store they moved to Tennessee to be closer to Linda’s children, who Walter cared for as his own. Walter loved to debate politics, and never missed a chance to let his step-children in on the debates. Walter was very active physically, and would ride his bike often and he worked out daily. He loved to go tubing and hiking with his step-daughter and grandchildren when possible. He also enjoyed relaxing evenings around a fire pit, enjoying a cigar and talking with his step-son.
Walter was predeceased by his wife Linda. Heart broken, he never got over her passing. Also pre-deceased by his parents, his brother, and a sister. He is survived by his stepdaughter Michelle Nesbit, stepson Stephen Ray, four grandchildren, Matthew Ray, Tiffany Wilson (Ray), Catherine Sean (Nesbit), Cora Nesbit, And three great-grand children Trenton, Jeremiah and Raiden.
Walter’s loved ones will cherish the memories they have of his hilarious antics and his overall loving demeanor. Memorial donations may be made in Walter’s name to the Samaritan’s Purse. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.