Walter Russell McKinstry, Jr. passed away July 2nd, 2023 in Loveland, CO. He was 92.
Walt was born Dec. 3, 1930 in Sterling Colorado to Mary Mitchell McKinstry and Walter Russell McKinstry of Sedgwick Colorado. He was the youngest of three sons. In the summer of 1938, his family moved to Julesburg Colorado.
Walt graduated with the Class of 1948 from Sedgwick County High School, Julesburg Colorado. He always claimed he finished in "the middle of his class" and majored in "girls and sports". He also adopted the Sedgwick High School (of Sedgwick, CO) Class of 1948 as his own and attended many of their reunions.
From 1948 - 1950 Walt attended Sterling Junior College, which was renamed Northeastern Junior College during his second year of attendance. Walt then transferred to CU Boulder and graduated in 1952 with a degree in Journalism. That fall he was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. After basic training at Camp Polk, he was deployed to Germany and France to work as an officers' clerk at the multi-service United States European Command headquarters. After two years he returned to the United States and then remained on Active Reserve Duty until 1963.
While working as a reporter he met Mary Fay Pickering in Farmington, NM. They were married October 4, 1957 in Grants, NM. In October 1958 they moved to Julesburg, CO and purchased the Grit-Advocate Newspaper. For 14 years they published the weekly edition.
In 1972, Walt joined the management of the First National Bank. He was also an agent for Kansas City Life Insurance and worked as a real estate agent and farm manager. In 1992 the McKinstrys sold the bank and Walt retired to manage his own farm properties and to volunteer at the Julesburg Grade School, the Colorado Welcome Center, and the Fort Sedgwick Historical Society museums. In 2018, due to illness, he moved to Loveland, CO to be near his daughter Kerry.
Throughout his life Walt was involved in many many community organizations and projects. Of note were the positions of Red Cross Chairman and County Veterans Service Officer. Also, he helped organize the Julesburg Chamber of Commerce, the Julesburg High School Alumni Association, the NJC Heritage Center, the Sedgwick Sand Draws Project, the Gateway Medical Foundation, and the Fort Sedgwick Historical Society Depot Museum Project.
Walt was always a people person and those who knew him thought well of him. He will be missed.
Walt is survived by his daughters Kerry and Lillian, 5 grandchildren, 1 great grandson, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Chuck and Tom, and his wife Mary.
Condolences and memories can be sent to McKinstryMemories@gmail.com
Private interment was held at the Hillside Cemetery, Julesburg, CO.
Memorials can be sent in honor of Walt McKinstry to The Fort Sedgwick Historical Society, 114 E. 1st Street, Julesburg, CO 80737 or to The Town of Julesburg for the Swimming Pool Project, 100 W. 2nd Street, Julesburg, CO 80737.
Allnutt Funeral Service of Loveland and Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Julesburg assisted the family.