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Walt Tollett died at home on Monday, November 20, 2023, at the age of 47.
Preceded in death by his father, Jacky Lee Tollett (1994), Walt is survived by his mother, Barbara, wife Kathie and sons William and Kendrick, his siblings Joe (Kim), Mike (Terry), and Kelly, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and many many beloved friends.
Walt was born at Callahan County Hospital in Baird on July 21, 1976 and attended school in Baird since the 6th grade.He lived the life of many Texan children (aka Tom Sawyer). Starting at a young age he swam in creeks and rivers, caught (and sometimes released) animals, hunted and even had a horny toad that he entered in a jumping contest in front of the courthouse. Walt and his family spent countless summers, weekends and holidays at Fort Griffin State Park camping, riding bikes, and his all time favorite: fishing.
During high school, Walt played many sports that included track, basketball, and a little football. He won many awards through the years, the highlight of which was the gold medal and the State level for the 300 Hurdles in 1994. This achievement lead to the creation of the Jack Tollett award given at the annual Baird sports Banquet.
As he got a little older, Walt worked at the Baird co-op learning the local area while driving the fertilizer truck – and could still recall farmers and ranchers names and the lay of their land. He expanded his travels when he worked to install satellite systems for schools across the midwest as far north as Michigan. He loved seeing the sights and got a taste of home when he found a restaurant that served Lone Star beer. For a time, Walt worked for Emerald boats where he made many lifelong friends and learned about building fiberglass boats from the ground (or water) up. His talent with boats brought him to the Houston area to work for another boat company building luxury racing boats. One of Walt’s favorite parts of this job was testing his work on the water at high speeds and riding along on poker runs. It was during his time in Houston when he met his future wife, Kathie. They worked together and enjoyed time spent in the engine compartment setting boat engines when they got the chance.
From here, Walt and Kathie got married and moved back to Baird to raise a family. Walt frequently relayed storied of his youth in the area and taught his boys the skills as they grew to enjoy camping, hunting and, obviously, fishing, discovering the joy in life as their dad had. Walt was a jack of all trades (even before there was YouTube) as he raised chickens and quail, gardened, rebuilding his house, tying flies, and painting lures (some of which he actually carved from wood and all were really pieces of art). He had many projects that showcased his talents and artistry. Through it all, Walt was a devoted family man who shared his talents and knowledge with his boys.
Above all, Walt loved to be outside and fishing which was at the top of his list of talents. One of his catfish heads is still hanging out at Baird Lake.
Following a very long battle with cancer, Walt decided it was time to come home to be with his dogs, cats, chickens, family, and friends to finish his fight on his terms. He was a friend to many and enjoyed his life here in Baird where he grew up. Walt is loved, respected and already greatly missed.
Visitation will be 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday, November 25, 2023, at Parker-Jacobs Funeral Home in Baird. Services will follow at 1:00 PM. Burial will be in Ross Cemetery, Spencer Price Addition.
The family suggests memorials to Texas Parks and Wildlife Go Fishing, Take Someone Fishing, or Mary Crowley Cancer Research in Dallas.