Walter “Walt” Mason Sloane, 91, passed away on Sunday, March 1, 2015, at Hearthstone Cottage in East in Wenatchee. Walt was born on Feb. 23, 1924, to Thomas Newton and Mary Jane Boggs Sloane. The Sloane family were some of the first homesteaders in the Mazama area. Walt was raised on the family ranch in Mazama. His family left the homestead for two years while Walt was a young teenager and moved to Wickenburg, Arizona, with the hope of finding help for two of Walt’s siblings who had contracted tuberculosis. After two years, the family returned to their Mazama home.
During his time in Arizon, Walt learned to play basketball. Upon his return, he continued to play for Winthrop High School. Walt graduated from Winthrop High School in 1941. In 1942 Walt joined the U.S. Army and served for two years in India, where he worked as a surveyor. After being discharged from service in 1946, Walt returned to the Mazama homestead and took up ranching with his brother, Tom. They had approximately 1,000 acres of land and, according to Walt, “some of it was in alfalfa, but most of it was just scrub land that we used for grazing cattle.”
Walt and Tom were committed bachelors until Walt met his life mate, Betty June Merchant, in April of 1953. Walt and Betty met while on a double date with Walt’s good friend, Bill Shafer. Just a few months later, in October, Walt and Betty were married in Chelan. They moved to the Mazama ranch, where he turned the city girl into a country girl. They stayed on the ranch for another three years until they sold it to the Burkhart family and bought a house and orchard just outside of Twisp. Walt worked the orchard, and he also worked in the woods running a loader for Otto Wagner.
In 1962 they left the lovely Methow Valley and moved to Cashmere, where they bought an orchard on Flowery Divide. Walt and Betty would call Cashmere home for the next 40-plus years. He retired and sold the orchard in 1985; Walt and Betty remained in Cashmere until 2006 when they moved to Wenatchee. Though he never returned to the Mazama Valley as a resident, he always considered it home and left that legacy of love for the area to his children and grandchildren.
With Betty by his side, Walt enjoyed many adventures. They were avid snowmobilers and returned regularly to the Methow Valley to ride the numerous trails with friends and family. Springtime meant camping and fishing at Pearrygin Lake with friends and family. Walt and Betty lived an incredibly good life filled with love for each other and for their family and friends. He was a good-hearted man who understood what was important in life and lived so accordingly. Walt’s heart was broken when Betty died. They were best friends in life, and now they will enjoy eternity together with Jesus in Heaven.
Walt is survived by his son, Mark Mason Sloane of Wenatchee; his daughter Kathy (Brian) Addleman of East Wenatchee; three grandchildren, Matthew Mason (Shauna) Addleman of Seattle, Sarah (Eric) Duffey and Aimee (Chris) Krueger both of East Wenatchee; five great-grandchildren, Mason and Nora June Duffey and Noah, Eli and Henry Krueger; beloved nieces and nephews; and many close friends. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, his 11 sisters and brothers, and his dear wife, Betty June.
A graveside service will be held for family and friends on Saturday, May 23, at 11 a.m. at the Sullivan Cemetery in Winthrop. Memorials may be made in Walt’s name to: Mission Vista Quality of Life Fund, 630 N. Chelan Ave, Suite A-1, Wenatchee, WA 98801.