Walter Lee “Walt” Cheney, age 74, of Belding, formerly of Harrisville and Hale, Michigan, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. He was being cared for at home by his dear wife and Hospice, following a long battle with cancer. He was born in Hale, Michigan, the son of Oliver Charles and Glenna Winifred (Barnum) Cheney. He graduated from Hale High School with the Class of 1961, where he was an accomplished athlete. He excelled in basketball, football and baseball and was recruited by the Tigers baseball organization, but did not make it to the big leagues. He served his country in the United States Army from 1968 to 1970. Stationed in Alaska, the Army Corps of Engineers used his surveying experience to help rebuild the town of Valdez following an earthquake which had devasted the area. Walt married Kathy Lynn Harvey on July 2, 1971, at First Baptist Church, in Davison, Michigan. He worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation for just over 37 years, retiring in 2000. During his retirement he worked in farming for several years in Harrisville, Michigan. In 2006, he and his wife Kathy moved to Belding, to be near the children and grandchildren. Walt lived at the Flats On The River apartment complex and was employed there as a part-time maintenance/caretaker for several years. Throughout Walt’s life he nurtured his relationship with Jesus and was active in servant leadership positions at church, including Sunday School Teacher, Youth Leader. He drove the church van for many years, making sure anyone who needed a ride was able to get to church. His ministry also included serving as Jail Chaplain in Harrisville for many years. Walt was an avid outdoorsman his entire life; hunting, fishing, trapping, or just taking a walk or drive in his beloved Michigan woods. After accepting Christ as his Savior at the age of 46, Walt became a voracious reader of God’s Word and loved to pour over other spiritual texts as well. Most of all, he loved spending time with his wife Kathy, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends.
The memory of Walt with be cherished by his wife of 46 years, Kathy Lynn Cheney, his children Kelli (Steve) O’Dell of Grand Rapids and Casey (Tara) Cheney of Belding; grandchildren Luke, Michael, Jake (Megan Crandell), David (Alyssa Mason), Laken and Avery; great grandchildren Jackson Walter O’Dell and Ophelia Grace O’Dell; siblings Joan (Joe) Gozdor of Harrisville, Michigan and Richard (Darlene) Cheney of Boulder City, Nevada; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service celebrating Walt’s life will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, Michigan, with Pastor Mark Shaw officiating. The family will greet visitors for an hour prior to the service at church, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and a luncheon and time of fellowship will follow the service. Those wishing to express sympathy are welcome to consider a contribution in Walt’s memory to the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, Cancer Patient Assistance fund.