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Walter Reuter - October 22, 2010

Walter Reuter was born Oct. 16, 1917 in Scottsbluff, Neb. to Alexander and Dora (Sinner) Reuter, who were German-Russian immigrants from the Ukraine. He died at the age of 93 on Oct. 22, 2010 in El Dorado, Calif.

At the age of 5, Walt was standing next to his father when he was struck and killed by lightning while carrying an irrigation shovel over his shoulder. He was the oldest of five children, including his brother Alex, who was not yet born. His mother went to work in the sugarbeet fields with him working alongside her—a work ethic he carried with him throughout his life.

When he was 9 years old his mother married John Bieber of Sedgwick. John brought seven children to the marriage, and they had three children together.

In the 1930s there were 18 Reuter/Biebers living in Sedgwick County. Today the lone descendant living in Julesburg is his granddaughter Toni Reuter Mollendor.

Walt did not finish high school, as his labor was needed in the fields and he left home during the Depression for California. He eventually settled in the Sacramento area where he finished his education and became an estimating engineer for The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until retirement.

Walt was an avid environmentalist and treasured the mountains and rivers. His love of fly fishing was passed on to his sons, and through the years three generations of Reuter men would gather for an annual fishing trip.

He was preceded in death by nine Bieber children, including his brother, Harold Bieber of Big Springs, Neb., and two Reuter siblings, including Dan Reuter of Sedgwick.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dorothy Kirkpatrick of Plymouth, Calif.; six sons and one daughter; brother, Alex of Broomfield; and sister, Lily Sittner of Ridgeway, Mo.

Area family are sons, Don and Allen Reuter, and a brother, Chris Bieber, all of Holyoke.