Ronald Leland Walquist
War Hero – Vietnam Veteran
Bronze Star and Purple Heart
July 8, 1945 – January 11, 2018
Ronald Leland Walquist of Idaho Falls, Id passed away peacefully at home Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the age of 72. He grew up loving Idaho Falls, and returned for the final 10+ years of his life. He served as a member, officer, and commander of the American Legion Bonneville Post 56 and the Memorial Team. He taught classes on patriotism and participated in the annual fifth grade patriotic celebration. He loved public speaking and was much appreciated as an orator.
Ron was a Master Gardener and member of the Idaho Falls Garden Club. He enjoyed speaking for the garden clubs, relief society meetings, and anybody who asked. He taught how to plant gardens, how to prune fruit trees, how to espalier, and shared his love of seeds. As a Master Naturalist, Ron volunteered with his friends at Fish and Game banding ducks, putting up deer fence, and visiting with fishermen along the river.
Ron was born in Idaho Falls July 8, 1945 to Ray and Renee (Jensen) Walquist. He grew up in Idaho Falls and was part of the class of 1963. Ron went into the army soon after graduating high school. He went through combat training and was sent to Vietnam where he was handed his Combat Infantry Badge the next day. There were no chaplains in the field, however Ron, a proud, gentle, loving, fifth generation Mormon, having 3 years of seminary, was looked to as their chaplain. Ron was F Troop, 17th Cavalry, of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
Besides the Combat Infantry Badge, Sargeant Ronald Leland Walquist was presented with The Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement in Ground Operations Against Hostile Forces during for the year of 1967. He was awarded The Purple Heart for wounds received in action November 24, 1967, “Thanksgiving Day.”
After Vietnam, Ron went on to California State College, Fullerton where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree and became a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants June 1974. Besides being a CPA, he owned his own dairy in Tillamook, OR selling milk to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some years, he purchased a farm in Salem with acres of peaches, cherry, and apple trees. After leaving the farm, 5 years later, Ron moved to Portland where he formed Walquist and Assoc., a financial consulting firm. A newspaper article titled “The Axman Cometh” quoted him as saying, “There’s never a question in my mind of doing right or wrong. I’m always right.”
He also enjoyed surfing and scuba diving in California, sightseeing, and snow skiing. To know Ron was to love him. He was everyone’s friend.
Ron is survived by his wife, Victoria of Idaho Falls, and his two beloved daughters, Sarah Marie (Cameron) Huber and Beatrix Renee Benjamin of Troutdale, Oregon.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018, 12:00 pm Noon at Sand Creek Ward, 1101 East 1250 North, Shelley, Idaho. Military Rites will be at 3:00 pm at the Vietnam Memorial in Freeman Park, Idaho Falls by the Bonneville Memorial Team.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bonneville County Veterans Memorial Team.