Services for Billy Loland Walts, 87, of Killeen will be at noon today at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Killeen. A meal will be provided for the family. Burial will be at Killeen Memorial Park.
Mr. Walts died Oct. 11, 2013, in a Temple hospital. He 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,” was the best dance band around. He would go from table to table at breaktime and meet and greet each and every person that 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 floors 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 there and surprise everyone around with his playing.
He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be missed by everyone.
Mr. Walts was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, LaNell Walts, on Aug. 23, 2012; and 13 brothers and sisters.
Survivors include one son, James Walts of Killeen; one daughter, Billie Smith of Killeen; one grandson and his wife, Cody and Kasey Smith of Belton; one great-granddaughter, Lauren Nicole Smith of Belton; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Visitation is from 10 a.m. to noon today at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Killeen. Crotty Funeral Home in Belton is in charge of arrangements. Offer condolences at www.crottyfh.com.