Walter Lambert Hower, Jr.
October 9, 1940 – May 7, 2023
Preceded in death by parents Walter and Patricia Hower; sisters: Patricia Kafka, Jackie Peters, Virginia Smith, Barbara Hower, and Dorothy Rush; granddaughter Lily Hower.
He is survived by his wife, Rita; sons: John (Diane), Joe (Kendra), Tim, Bill (Tamyra), Dan (Megan), Matt; daughter, Katie (Eron) Welchans; 17 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; sisters, Ann Marie Klavins, Gina Kooser; brother, Robert Hower.
Walter “Duke” Hower Jr. was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend. When he was young, his father worked for Union Pacific Railroad and was gone frequently, so Duke was the “man of the house.” He took up all his responsibilities with pride, determination, kindness, and selflessness; qualities he exemplified throughout his life.
As a child, he loved to fish in Carter Lake for catfish, go to baseball games at Rosenblatt, and buy fresh fruit from the downtown markets. He loved being outdoors.
He always worked; he loved being busy. He had a paper route, worked at Chops Bowling Alley as a pin setter, worked for Union Pacific as a switchman, and in restaurant kitchens. He spent many years working at Mutual of Omaha in a variety of departments.
A defining moment in his life was joining the Marine Corp with his childhood friend, Jack Bellus. If you knew Duke, you knew that being a Marine was always part of who he was. He was immensely proud to be a Marine and liked things “squared away.”
He was a man that took pride in everything he did from his yard and his cars to his grocery shopping. He was also proud to work at Creighton University in the Athletics Department as Business Manager and compliance coordinator. Duke loved sports and he loved finances, so there was no better fit. He could be found at the Creighton Jays basketball games with his work buddies and driving student athletes to their competitions – some as far away as New York. He ultimately retired from Creighton University.
But he took the most pride in his wife, kids, and family. Duke believed firmly in the right path and wanted to be sure his family was on it. He adored his wife, Rita; Rita was his world and everything he did was for her. When it came to his family, he would, quite literally, give you the shirt off his back.
As a devout Catholic, he also firmly believed in service to others. He and Rita belonged to several different parishes at different times in their lives and he was always part of each community. He belonged to St. Terese, served at St. Pius X as a coach, and was a Knight of Columbus at Mary Our Queen.
He was complimentary and kind, always put people at their ease, and made your stories the center of attention. Duke was selfless and smiled to the end. Staff at the Veteran’s Home frequently said if Duke was asked to do something he said, “you bet” with a smile.
He was the gold standard, and there was no better feeling than when dad was proud of you.
FAMILY RECEIVES FRIENDS: THURS, May 18, 2023, 4:00-6:30 followed by VIGIL SERVICE: 6:30, all at West Center Chapel, MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: FRI, May 19, 2023, 10:30 a.m. St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 4804 Grover St. ENTOMBMENT WITH MILITARY RITES: Calvary Mausoleum. Memorials are suggested to Alzheimer’s Association.