NORMAN — Walter F. Scheffer, 92, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Norman. Walter was born March 16, 1921, to Frank and Clara Scheffer in Humbird, Wis.
He lived with his six siblings on a dairy farm, which today remains in the family after more than 125 years. Walter’s parents supported the educational aspirations of their children and Walter was an excellent student. After his early schooling, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the State Teachers College, Eau Claire, Wis.
In 1943 he enlisted in the Army where he served during World War II as a B-29 navigator in the Army Air Corps. At the urging of a friend, he started a pen-pal correspondence with a beautiful, vivacious young woman named Barbara Moore who lived in New Jersey.
Their relationship blossomed through the exchange of letters and pictures and culminated with Walter’s trip across country to finally meet her in person at Penn Station in New York City.
A few months later, in November, 1945, he married Barbara in Hawthorne, N.J. Walter and Barbara spent their early married life in Madison, where Walter received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin.
In 1951, Walter accepted a position to teach political science at the University of Oklahoma and the couple moved to Norman with their two young daughters. Eventually, a son and a third daughter were born in Norman and Walter and Barbara were immersed in a rewarding family life.
Walter’s career flourished at OU, where he served as chairman of the political science department for five years and was director of the Public Administration Program for 20 years. He was instrumental in creating the Advanced Programs in public administration, which enrolled thousands of students in a master’s degree program that has been offered at U.S. military bases around the world since 1965.