Walter C. Obrecht
1926 - 2012
Walter “Wally” C. Obrecht, born Nov. 26, 1926, passed away peacefully in his home on June 19, 2012 at age 85, with his loving family all around him.
He became ill in March and despite the efforts of the wonderful staff at Rim Country Rehabilitation Center and the encouragement from his wife, Sandy and family, he failed to improve. He returned home to enjoy the beautiful view of the Mogollon Rim east of Payson from his patio deck.
Mr. Obrecht was born in Jersey City, N.J. and grew up in Hoboken. His parents were Augusta Schubring and Joseph Obrecht. He and his twin brother, Richie (deceased), had many adventures together. He also had a sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Obrecht (also deceased).
During high school, in 1945, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in World War II. His rank was a private first class and served as a medic in Atsugi Airbase, Japan, during the occupation after the end of the war.
In 1951, he married Colette Gagliardi. Together they had three children, Douglas, Denise and Walter. They lived in Ridgefield Park, N.J. where Mr. Obrecht had a TV repair business and then a hobby store.
In 1959 he moved the family to Reseda, Calif. While in California, Mr. Obrecht worked at RCA as an electronics test technician. Later he was employed by Data Products in Woodland Hills, Calif.
In 1972, he moved the family to Westlake Village, Calif. Colette passed away in 1975.
In 1976, Mr. Obrecht joined the Westlake Village Art Guild and met Sandra Spaulding. The two had so much in common they hit it off from the start. They married in 1976.
Sandy had two sons, Steve and Mark. The two families happily joined and together produced 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, and Mr. Obrecht loved and enjoyed them all.
He was a talented artist. He started out painting watercolors then moved on to oils. His paintings were mostly pastoral scenes and historic places, such as farms, California missions, castles, landscapes and seascapes. His work was very detailed and true to life. He had great eye for composition. He became an expert at metal sculpture, wood scrollwork, building furniture, masonry and tile work. Also, if anything needed fixing, everyone knew to call Wally!
His loving wife, Sandy, survives Mr. Obrecht. They enjoyed 36 years of marriage in Westlake Village, Calif. and Payson, Ariz. He is also survived by his children, Douglas Obrecht (Melissa), Denise Obrecht Vitullo (Mike), Walter Obrecht (Michelle), Steve Spaulding (Kimberly), Mark Spaulding (Dawn) and all their children and grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 23 at Messinger Mortuary, 901 S. Westerly Rd., Payson.