Walter “Buck” Lee Rockhold, 77, of Baldwin City, Kan. passed away peacefully Nov. 30, 2011 at his home in Vinland, Kan. after battling Parkinson’s disease and cancer for several years.

Walter was born in Lawrence, Kan. on March 23, 1934 to George Marion and Georgia Wilma (Needles) Rockhold as the second of eight children. He graduated from Vinland High School in 1952, and served in the Kansas National Guard from 1952-1960.

At a dance in 1953, he met his future wife Patricia “Pat” A. Meyer. After dating for two years they were married on Jan. 14, 1955 at the United Methodist Church in Baldwin, Kan.

He worked for the Lawrence Paper Co. and then the Hercules Powder Co. until being laid off shortly after their marriage. Hearing that jobs were plentiful in Florida, they decided to move to Miami. There Buck began working at his father-in-law’s company building swimming pools until 1957 when he began working for Florida Power and Light Co.

Their first son, Allen Lee was born on Oct. 8, 1958. With the family expanding, they built their first house in West Hollywood, Fla. Their second son, Gary Wayne, was born on April 24, 1960.

Feeling homesick for their families, they returned to Kansas in June of 1960. The couple built their current home on 40 acres outside of Vinland in 1962.

Buck started working for Westar Energy (Kansas Power and Light) in 1965 as a commercial meter-man until his early retirement due to illness in 1992. He then drove dump trucks for his son Allen’s company, Jayhawk Excavating until 1996 when again his health prevented him from continuing.

Although he never liked working in the garden growing up, he did enjoy having some land he could farm, which enabled him to own and use the John Deere equipment he loved so much. Farming was only one of his hobbies; others included motorcycling, RV camping, boating, horseback riding & playing cards. More than anything, he loved taking Pat dancing and spending time with family and friends.

Buck was a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles #309 and a member of the IBEW Local #304 electrical union.

Buck was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Bernie Rockhold and Margaret Gurley.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 56 years, Pat; children Allen and wife Terri Rockhold, and Gary Rockhold; grandchildren Lacey and husband Josh Maddick, and Nick Rockhold; great grandchild Jayce Maddick; siblings and their spouses Helen Hapes, Betty and Robert Lawrenz, Leonard and Alice Rockhold, Bob and Waneitta Rockhold, Glenn Rockhold, sister-in-law Mary Pritchard and numerous friends.

Funeral services celebrating his life will be held 11:30 am Sat., Dec. 3, 2011 at Bruce Funeral Home, 106 S Center, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. A private family inurnment will be at Vinland Cemetery, Vinland, Kan. at a later date. Visitation will be held before the service from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation or Midland Care Hospice in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.brucefuneralhome.com.