WALTER H. BECKHAM


Walter was a very industrious member of the Green Country Flyfishers and deserves to be remembered for his contribution to the club in the 1980’s and 90’s.

Walter was a native Kansan, born in Plains in 1919.   After graduating from the Olive, Kansas, high school, he attended Oklahoma A&M, graduating with a bachelors degree in agronomy and a masters in rural adult education.   Walter served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific during WW II.   He was stationed on an island where his work was to grow vegetables by the hydroponic method for the Armed Services in the Pacific Theater.

Walter then became a county agent, first at Tahlequah and then at Shawnee.   In 1965, he and his wife Lorene moved to Bartlesville where he was OSU Extension Center Director for Washington County until he retired in 1974.   

All of this background is important to the GCF in that it gave Walter an inside track with many organizations and he was a scrounger of the first water.   For instance, he found a considerable amount of abandoned green paper satisfactory for our news letter.   He arranged to have GCF members speak at   local club meetings.   He enlisted Tri County Tech to print the Flyline for us at very little cost.   He assembled the fly of the month patterns and put them into a binders which the GCF sold for $30.00 each.

Walter was constantly promoting GCF, gathering names of prospective students for our winter fly fishing classes, and coaxing Tri County Tech to allow us to hold our classes on its campus.   As a result of his efforts and the goodwill he generated,, the GCF completed its 30th consecutive yearly fly fishing school at Tri County in January 2006.

Walter was a road kill expert and provided much fur and hackle for the club's use.   We were concerned about some of the material Walter brought to the club as Dave Strang, our local Game Warden, was also a regular attending member of GCF and I think Dave would have arrested his mother for a hunting violation.

Walter was also a good guy to know if you liked to fish ponds.   He knew just about every rancher and farmer in this part of the country and had access to many bodies of water not generally available to the public.   I fished with him once and was impressed with his continuing interest in that farm and the farmer.

We lost Walter on June 16, 1998 at the age of 79. 

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