Vernon Wendall Walters went to be with Jesus on February 6, 2021, after losing a hard fought battle with leukemia. He died at home, surrounded by Margie, his wife of 57 years, his daughters, Angela and Jill, and his beloved, faithful dog, Sophie. Husband, dad, grandpa, pediatrician, missionary, servant, professor, headmaster, friend…however you knew him, you were blessed.
Vern was born in Englewood, Colorado on December 26, 1939 to Vernon and Mabel Walters. He attended Englewood High School, then went on to swim at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His first date with Margie was on Valentine’s Day, 1963, in Portland, Oregon where he attended graduate school. They were married on Christmas Day, 1963 – holidays were good for them!
After graduating from the University of Colorado Medical School, Vern was drafted into the Army; he and Margie took their daughters and moved to Panama. Major Doctor Walters practiced medicine at the Coco Solo Hospital for 3 years. Panama was the defining moment when Vern became impassioned with medical missions, travelling with Margie to remote islands to help those in need.
In 1973 Vern and Margie returned to the United States to raise their children in Evergreen, Colorado, where he established Evergreen Pediatrics. Vern was always willing to help a sick child, whether it was at his office in town, or on his kitchen table in the middle of the night. His proclamation was “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Vern left private practice to be a medical director for Cigna and United. He then went on to Southeast Christian School, where he was the headmaster for 12 years. While there, he again touched the lives of hundreds of children.
Aside from his family, Vern’s passions included biking, hiking, skiing (until 80!) and running. He ran the Evergreen Town Race every year beginning in 1973, and eventually made it an annual event with Margie, his kids and their families. His grandkids will best remember him carrying them on top of his shoulders while water skiing, mowing the lawn and washing the cars. Papa and Gigi were their biggest fans, attending every dance recital and ball game possible.
His dedication to medical missions was extraordinary. He tirelessly gave himself to others through his 34 trips to over 10 nations. He treated with meds and offered hope for hours on end in makeshift clinics. Vern was the lead doctor of a medical team to Moldova that saw frostbite on orphans – this started 20 years of shoe missions to orphaned youth.
Vern’s life was filled with all of the things he dreamed of achieving, and he was often heard proclaiming “I’ve lived the most abundant life.” He fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
We love you – and know that you are keeping us all in line and protecting us until we can one day join you again. Best mission trip ever – HEAVEN!
A memorial service to remember Vern will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we would love for you to consider a donation to Brent’s Place at brentsplace.org (an organization helping children with bone marrow cancer) or CERI at cerikids.org (shoes for orphans).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vernon W. Walters, please visit our floral store.