Bob Walberg died Nov. 5, 2006 while cheering a football touchdown made on TV.
He was born in Galesburg, Ill. on Sept. 5, 1918, but moved to Phoenix when he was 12. He graduated from Phoenix Union High School and went on to have an exciting football career playing for the Tempe Normal School Bulldogs. He played in the 1940 Sun Bowl with the Bulldogs. Tempe Normal School grew to become Arizona State University.
Mr. Walberg was a sheet metal worker for Goodyear in Litchfield Park before and during World War II. He worked on the world's largest dirigible at Goodyear. It is listed in the McGinnis Book of World Records. He got his pilot's license at this time and loved to tell stories about his flying adventures and growing up in the early days of Phoenix.
In 1941, he opened a furniture manufacturing company, Artisan Furniture. He designed and built custom furniture for Phoenix families. In 1962 he went back to ASU and completed a teaching degree in industrial arts. He and his wife, Margaret, moved to Payson and in 1964 he started the industrial arts and drafting programs for Payson High School.
Mr. Walberg was a talented woodworker and there are many items that can be seen in Payson that he made, such as the Pioneer Cemetery entrance sign. Much of his work was done for neighbors and clubs who needed small projects. In his later years, Bob turned Indian bowls on the lathe and painted them with authentic Indian designs.
In 1940, he married Margaret Wright and they had two daughters who survive him, Gay Walberg of Payson and Jan Zachry of Sheridan,Wyo. He had five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. His wife, Margaret, predeceased him by five weeks.
Bob and Margaret Walberg were both cremated and their ashes are interned together in Payson Pioneer Cemetery.
No funeral services are planned, but donations to the Payson Humane Society in his memory would be appreciated.