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Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Former mayor enjoyed behind-the-scenes role

April 3, 2007

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Robert "Bob" Walters, the mayor of Lawrence from 1989 to 1990, was a modest man who cared deeply for Lawrence and for Kansas University, according to his family and friends.

"His lifelong commitment to the city was phenomenal," said Anne Walters, his wife.

Walters, who died Thursday at age 69, served on the Lawrence City Commission for four years. His funeral is today.

"He was a natural leader even though he didn't really like politics," said Walters' nephew, John Rinkenbaugh. "He liked being behind the scenes."

Walters was born Jan. 22, 1938, in Lawrence. He lived on a farm north of Lawrence with his parents, Frank and May Belle Knop Walters, and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1956.

Walters received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas University, where he worked for more than 34 years. He started as a graduate student and later worked at the Space Technology Center on KU's West Campus. Walters ended his career as manager of research facilities for the KU Center for Research.

He was involved with the Lawrence Sister Cities Organization and attended the official signings for Lawrence sister cities in Eutin, Germany, and Hiratsuka, Japan.

Walters also was a vocal proponent of the South Lawrence Trafficway. Walters' wife said he was disappointed that the project was not completed during his lifetime.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. today at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St.

- Journal-World intern Derek Korte can be reached at 832-7154.

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