WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Richard Sherwood Walbaum, 71, died at his home on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
He was born May 16, 1938, in Springfield, Illinois, to the late G. Crum and Mary Taylor Walbaum.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Molly Moore Walbaum, and his sons and daughters-in-law, Jeffrey and Janet of Fair Oaks, Indiana; David and Megan of Rochester, New York; and Daniel and Moira of West Lafayette, Indiana; and by his great joy, grandchildren, Owen, Emma, Ellen, Henry, and Nathan; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Anita Walbaum of Springfield, Illinois; and by countless dear friends that he gathered over his lifetime.
He graduated from Springfield High School in Springfield, Illinois, the University of Illinois, with a Bachelor of Science degree, and Purdue University with a Master of Science degree. While at Illinois, he served as president of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He served in the Unites States Army as a lieutenant in the First Air Defense Missile Brigade at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Upon separation from the service he entered graduate school at Purdue. He was later named assistant dean for undergraduate administration at the Krannert School of Management. He loved working with students and established the School of Management’s Student Council. He was proud of his significant role in the establishment of the Business Opportunity Program for the Krannert School. For many years, he served as faculty advisor for Grand Prix and was selected for membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, Gimlet, Reamers, and Iron Key.
In 1984, he became assistant athletics director at Purdue and was director of the John Purdue Club. In later years he became senior associate athletics director and helped to establish Purdue’s areas of athletics marketing and promotions. He was a winner of the Diamond P. Award, and in 2001 he retired as senior associate athletics director emeritus.
Community service included many years as coach and commissioner of the Little Gridiron youth football league of West Lafayette and active support of Junior Achievement, West Lafayette High School Booster Club, and the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation. He was a longtime board member and treasurer of the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club. He was also a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Purdue Alumni Association, Purdue President’s Council, and the John Purdue Club.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Richard Walbaum Memorial Fund, care of the John Purdue Club, Ross-Ade Pavilion, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
There will be a memorial visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 5, at Soller-Baker West Lafayette Chapel, 1184 Sagamore Parkway W., West Lafayette, IN 47906. A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 6, at Federated Church, 2400 Sycamore Lane, West Lafayette, IN 47906, with Rev. David Mills officiating.