Richard Frederick Walters |

Richard Frederick Walters

Winning glider pilot Richard Frederick Walters, 60, died June 17. He won five times in four different classes, and was a member of the 1993, 1995, 2001 and 2008 U.S. Soaring Teams.

July 20, 1954 – June 17, 2015

Richard Frederick Walters (3Romeo), 60, of Gardnerville, NV, died June 17, 2015 as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in Charity Valley, California. He was born July 20, 1954 in Santa Monica, California, the son of Frederick and Ellen Walters. He attended schools in Saratoga, California, and graduated from Prospect High School in 1972 where he was a member of the basketball and tennis teams. As a young boy, Rick developed an interest in radio controlled sailplanes that he flew and competed in national and local contests. His famous White Trash RC model design won him many contests. In 1972, Rick graduated to full size sailplanes with the help of his father who was a glider pilot during the “Bishop Wave Project” in the 1940’s and 50’s. In 1980, Rick graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Engineering Technology. Rick worked in Silicon Valley until 1990 when he moved to Minden, NV, to start a general contracting business specializing in green building and following his dreams of competitive soaring and winning – like his idol, George Moffat. He logged over 3000 hours and has been racing US Nationals since 1985 with five wins in four different classes. Of particular note, is his participation in the US 15 Meter Nationals sometime in the 1980’s competing with a Standard Class sailplane where he was up against other competitors in their 15 meter sailplanes. Rick was also a member of the 1993, 1995, 2001 and 2008 US Soaring Teams competing in the World Championships.Soaring related duties include a term on the SSA Rules Committee, Minden-Tahoe Airport Advisory, AirSailing Trustee, and Competition Director for a Nationals and several Regional contests. Rick was also the recipient of several soaring awards as well as a 2005 AIA Nevada Design Award in the built category for an Eastern Sierra residence. In addition to his soaring accomplishments, Rick was an avid water skier, snow skier, bicyclist, fly fisherman, surfer, and stand up paddle boarder. He was also an avid Porsche fanatic, owning and rebuilding many during his lifetime as well as a variety of sailplane restoration. Rick is survived by his mother, Ellen Walters, his sister, Karen Johnson, her husband, Greg Johnson, and their two children, Dane and Krista; brother, Jeff Walters, and his son, Luke, all from California; former sister-in-law Kathy Walters from Nevada. Rick is predeceased in death by his father Frederick William Walters. He will be missed by close friends Barbara Mackey and Michele Anderson as well as many friends he met throughout his lifetime. He loved sharing his knowledge on anything with everyone in a kind and gracious manner. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday July 11, 2015, at 11 AM at the Minden Airport Soaring NV Hangar. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider tax-deductible donations to the Richard Frederick Walters Scholarship for US junior glider pilots. Make checks payable to Minden Soaring Club, designating them for Rick’s scholarship, PO Box 361, Minden, NV 89423.