OBITUARY: Wally Harkey

Wally Harkey, 89, of San Angelo, Texas, passed away on October 27, 2023. Born on January 6, 1934, in San Angelo, Wally, also known as Wallace Murray Harkey, was a beloved member of the community.

Wally made his home in Marfa and dedicated himself to serving others. He was actively involved in various organizations, including the Lions Club, where he served as president. Wally also served nine years on the MISD School Board and was involved in the Marfa FFA. He served on the steering committee for the first Marfa Lights Festival, volunteer fire departments [Alpine, Ft. Davis and Marfa], member of the Marfa Golf Association, and president of the Men’s Investment Club. Wally also served on the DMR board for many years. He always had a pot of beans ready for all the teenagers to stop by at any time.

Wally’s commitment to his community extended to his military service. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1954 and served on the USS Sheldon until his honorable discharge in 1958. Wally’s dedication and service to his country exemplified his strong character.

After his military service, Wally began a successful career with the Texas Highway Department, where he worked for 40 years. He designed a sign to help keep Presidio County drivers safe. It is now used all over the country. His hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed, and in 1976, he was awarded the prestigious Lady Bird Johnson Award for his exceptional beautification of highways in Presidio County. He and his crew built the first Marfa Lights viewing site. The many individuals who worked with him gave him tremendous joy and happy memories.

Wally’s impact extended beyond his professional life. He was a loving husband to his wife, Jan Harkey, and a devoted father. Wally is survived by his son Benny and wife Laura of San Angelo; son Jacky of San Angelo; stepson Johnny Bunsen and wife Kim of Midland; stepdaughter Tesa Bunsen and husband Scottie Riffle of Wasila, Arkansas; as well as five grandchildren, Sterling and wife Sarah, Jacob, Anna and husband Benjamin, Michael and wife Kaitlin, and Randi. He also leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Hendrix, Fender and Leila, and many nieces and nephews.

Wally’s memory will be cherished by all who knew him. He will be remembered for his selflessness, dedication, and unwavering commitment to his community, family, and country. His family wishes to thank the angels who took care of him from Live Well, Hospice of San Angelo and home health nurses and therapists, as well as his lifelong friend Wanda Lloyd. We are grateful for your love and care. We also want to thank pastors, Cindy and Scott and his loving neighbors.

A memorial service will be held in honor of Wally Harkey’s life at 10:00am on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Harper Funeral Home in San Angelo, Texas. Noel Gay Howard will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Hospice of San Angelo. Wally was a member of the First Methodist Church of San Angelo and Cheers Class.