Walter was born and raised in Gordon, Nebraska on February 28, 1931, and passed away on January 31, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. He joined in the Marines in 1950 and served in Korea. In 1955 he married Carmen Gates, and they eventually moved to Tucson where he obtained his PhD in Anthropology. Walter retired as a professor at the University of Arizona in 1996, and went on to work at the Office of the Medical Examiner until 2009. The forensics lab there has been named in his honor. Dr. Birkby consulted in criminal cases for the FBI, ATF, DPS, AZ State Attorney General and numerous police and sheriff departments. He was a member of the Vidocq Society, and a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Walter is survived by his wife, Carmen; son, Jeff; daughter, Julie (Mitch) Mattis; grandson Tyler (Tiffany) Mattis; and brother-in-law Max Gates and spouse Carolyn “Jimmie” Gates.
The family would like to credit the above photo to Jacob Chinn. A Celebration of Walter’s life wa sheld from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at Bring’s Broadway Chapel, Tucson, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.