Walter Allan Packer was called home to Heaven on July 27, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Walter, or “Bud”, was born on March 4,1940, to Dr. R.H. Packer and Virginia (Pill) Packer in Columbus, Ohio. He grew up in Mt. Sterling, was a member of the Mt. Sterling United Methodist Church, and graduated Salutatorian from Mt. Sterling High School in 1958. Walt graduated from The Ohio State University before pursuing seminary training and then enlisted in the United States Navy. He served as a Lieutenant aboard the USS Hampshire County from 1964 to 1967. It was during his time in the Navy that he met the love of his life, Catherine “Ann” Barnes. They were introduced by Walt’s best friend Wilson Lehman and Ann’s sister Virginia (Barnes) Lehman and were married on August 12, 1967. After honorable discharge from the US Navy, Walt earned his master’s degree in Social Work and the newlyweds moved to Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Walter worked as a psychiatric social worker for Moundbuilders Guidance Center for 36 years. Walt and Ann raised three children in Mt. Vernon: Sharon Lynn (Chris) Vanella; David Allan (Lisa); and Michelle Marie (Steve) Burdine. In Mt. Vernon, Walt was an active member of the Gay Street United Methodist Church where he served on a number of committees and forged many lifelong friendships. Following retirement, Walter volunteered as a counselor for Stephen Ministries in Mt. Vernon before he and Ann moved closer to “home” in Pickaway county. There they became active members of the Williamsport United Methodist Church. Walter joined the Kairos prison ministry-- a mission that filled his heart. Walter never knew a stranger. His cheerful disposition, generosity, and kindness will be remembered far and wide. He loved being a Grandpa, playing cards, traveling on long road trips, OSU sports, and sharing special meals and celebrations with family and friends. Walter answered God’s call to love through service and demonstrated his Christian faith through word and deed throughout his lifetime. Walter and his family were deeply touched by the outpouring of love shown at his “Going Away” celebration on June 16, 2018. Over 150 family members and friends traveled from near and far to celebrate Walt’s impact on their lives and communities. The love and support shown by friends and family continued, which overwhelmed and touched him deeply. Walter joins his parents, parents-in-law (Robert and Margaret Barnes), sister-in-law Virginia (Barnes) Lehman, and brother-in-law Gary McGranahan along with dear relatives and friends in Heaven. In addition to his wife, his children, and their spouses, he leaves to cherish his memory four grandchildren, Adah and Julia Vanella, and Marianna and Gavin Packer; sisters Judy McGranahan and Joy (Larry) McPherson; brothers-and sisters-in law Tom (Karla) Barnes, Wilson Lehman, Ruth (Nathan) Wilson, Sarah Barnes, Paul (Susan) Barnes, and Bob (Jan) Barnes; and a host of very special nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. Walter was laid to rest at Pleasant Cemetery in Mt. Sterling near his beloved parents, with a graveside service July 31, 2018. Walter’s family would like to thank Adena Family Medicine, Schieber Family Pharmacy, and Heartland Hospice, all of Circleville, OH, for their compassionate and professional care. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Walt’s honor can be made to: Kairos prison ministry, 48 East North Broadway Street, Columbus, OH, 43214; Williamsport United Methodist Church, 234 North School Street, Williamsport, OH, 43164; or Heartland hospice, 116 Morris Road, Circleville, OH 43113.Jim Bisenius will deliver the eulogy at the graveside.
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