Mr. Les Waltman, age 76, died January 27, 2021. He passed away at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, AL. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am in the Opelika chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Visitation will be held in the chapel at 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 3rd. After the funeral services, he will be buried in the Garden Hills Cemetery in Opelika, AL.
Leslie Ray Waltman, Jr. was born July 9, 1944 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He is the son of Leslie Ray Waltman, Sr., and Ruth Faye (Pack) Waltman. His father, in the U.S. Army during World War II, had left in January 1944 to serve in India, Burma, and the Marianas. Leslie Ray, Jr. did not meet his father until December 1945, when he was seventeen months old.
He, his mother and his maternal grandmother were all baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 20, 1953. He was always a dutiful member of the church, serving in a variety of church positions.
Les, as he was always called, attended St. Francis Xavier Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades in a one-room country school five miles north of Stillwater, Lincoln Elementary from 3rd-6th grade, Stillwater Junior High School, and Stillwater High School. He graduated in May 1962. In August 1962, he and his family moved to Provo, Utah. Les attended Brigham Young University, graduating in May 1967 with a B.A. in History and a minor in International Relations. In August 1968, he graduated from BYU with a M.A. in History and a minor in Graduate Education.
Living in Utah after growing up in Oklahoma was quite the experience. While he had reasonably expected to have a White Christmas, a White Halloween and White Easter were harder to adjust to.
While attending Brigham Young University, Les met and married Miss Barbara Lillian Bailey. They were married in Anniston, Alabama on December 23, 1963. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake City Temple on October 6, 1966, when they were sealed for eternity.
After graduation, Les taught Alabama and American histories and Western Civilization at Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Alabama) from 1968-1973. In 1973 he returned to school, attending Atlanta University where he received his M.A. in Library Science. In March 1976, Les became an Army Librarian. His first civil service job was in Pirmasens, West Germany. He worked there from 1976-1981. He was then chosen to be the Library Manager for the U.S. Army Aviation Library in Fort Rucker, Alabama. He worked as the manager from 1981-2010. He had a career as an Army Librarian that spanned 34 years and 9 months. In 2007, he received the National Civilian Employee for Librarians Award.
Although he worked primarily as a librarian, Les never stopped using his M.A. in History. He taught American History and Western Civilization for the University of Maryland, European Division from 1977-1981. He taught the same classes at Troy University Dothan and Fort Rucker from 1983-2010.
Les was also an avid family history researcher. He collaborated with others to publish four family histories that were printed and donated to libraries in various locations. Through the Family Search program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he submitted over 28,000 names to the temple.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister Ruth Ann (Waltman) Spivey. He was the grandson of the late Lyman Clarence and Rosa Anne (Mains) Waltman, and of Andrew Otho and Orela (Mueller) Pack. All of his grandparents were residents of Payne County, Oklahoma.
He is survived by his wife and eternal companion, Barbara, his son Ray Waltman (Lindsay), and his daughter Amanda Parker (Jacob). He is also survived by twelve grandchildren: Ray's children Marshall, Caroline, Jackson, Lillian, Ella, Brannon, Thaddeus and Chelnessa; Amanda’s children Bailey, Daniel, Mary Ann, and Liam. He is also survived by several cousins, nieces, and a nephew.
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