Billy Loland Walts, 87, of Killeen, died Oct. 11, 2013, in a Temple hospital.
Services will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Killeen. Visitation is two hours before the service. A meal will be provided for the family.
Mr. Walts was born March 13, 1926, in Thornton to John F Walts and Anna (Madry) Walts.
He served in the U.S. Army in the medical detachment, helping wounded in the line of fire and received a Purple Heart in World War II when he got shrapnel from a “screaming mimi” that landed in the soft ground just a few feet from where he covered a wounded soldier he was helping. At least that’s what he always called it when he told the story.
From a very young age he learned to play the piano by ear — never a sheet of music read. His band “Bill Walts & The Goodtimers” were the best dance band around. He would go from table to table at break time and meet and greet each and every person who came to dance, always making sure they got to hear their favorite song so they could hit the dance floor.
He and his wife, LaNell, could really “cut a rug” on the dance floor back in the day. They had a special little side-by-side dip during the jitterbug that really made them stand out on the dance floor. Now they are two steppin’ in heaven with his son-in-law, Mike Smith, playing the guitar.
Even last year while he was in the hospital in Waco after he broke his hip, he would still wheel up to the old piano and surprise everyone around with his playing. He was a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather and will be missed by everyone.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, LaNell Walts, on Aug. 23, 2012; and 13 brothers and sisters.
Survivors are one son, James Walts of Killeen; one daughter, Billie Smith of Killeen; one grandson and wife, Cody and Kasey Smith of Belton; one great-granddaughter, Lauren Nicole Smith of Belton; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Burial will be at Killeen Memorial Park. Crotty Funeral Home of Belton is in charge of arrangements. Please visit www.Crottyfh.com and post a tribute.