Obituary Notices and Memorials


DETJEN, Walter Arthur
DETJEN, Walter Arthur Sept. 11, 1927 ~ Dec. 19, 2013 Age 86, a longtime resident of the Antelope Valley, passed away peacefully in Modesto, California from a short bout of pneumonia. Walter is predeceased by his son, Dale, and is survived by his wife, Patricia, daughters Christine and Jennifer, and son, Joel; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Walter was born in Biola, California to Arthur and Bertha Detjen and grew up on a grape vineyard. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering. In 1951, after graduating from college, Walter married Patricia and just recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary. Also in 1951 Walter began a 32 year career at the Rocket Lab Site in Edwards Air Force Base working on and heading up numerous government projects including projects for the U.S. Space Program. A longtime member of Lancaster's Grace Lutheran Church, where he served many years on their School Board, Walter always strived to live his life in a manner that would be acceptable to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Walter was also a longtime member of the local Antique Car Club serving in several capacities. But what many people came to relate Walter to was the Rural Olympics at the A.V. Fair. For over a 43 year span Walter competed annually in the potato-stabbing race which he won six times and the tractor sickle-bar race where he won the event eight consecutive years. In July 2006, Walter was elected into the A.V. Fair Rural Olympics Hall of Fame. Words can't express the imprint Walter left with his family and friends. He was smart, witty, loving, caring, warm, sweet, and happy-go-lucky. He grew up a farm boy who would eventually work with spacecraft design and flew in aircraft with astronauts. Lord, thank you for sharing him with us. Viewing will be held at 10 am to 11:30 am., Friday, December, 27, 2013 at Grace Lutheran Church, 856 W. Newgrove St., Lancaster; with graveside service at noon at Joshua Memorial Park, 808 E. Lancaster Blvd., followed by a Celebration of Life with reception at Grace Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Grace Lutheran Church, 856 W. Newgrove St., Lancaster, CA 93534 or the Hospice Foundation of Stanislaus County, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA. 95356.

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