SPOKANE -- Longtime Prosser police chief and avid Prosser Mustangs fan Mel Walker died Sunday at the age of 86 in Spokane.
A notice from Smith Funeral Home said he was born in Gem, Idaho.
He grew up on a farm near Whitstran, according to a 2008 Herald article.
He spent most of his life in Prosser, serving 40 years on its police force from 1949-89, including 29 years as chief.
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"Mel Walker's influence is still felt inside the Prosser Police Department today, and as with any law enforcement family, he will be missed," a statement from the police department said.
He also was a farmer, longtime school bus driver and lifelong Mustang.
Walker told the Herald in 2008 that as a boy he'd intentionally miss his school bus home so he could watch the team play. He later played football for the team in high school.
He played semi-pro football for the Yakima Valley All Stars for three years after high school, and later helped create the Prosser Grid Kids youth football program in the mid-1980s.
He regularly attended Prosser High sports events, from volleyball to track, and at one point a few years ago he and his wife, Mary Jane, were named No. 1 spectators by the girls basketball team.
He'd show up for Prosser football games two hours early so he could claim his regular seat -- in the top row, far right, center section.
And he told the Herald in 2008 that he had never missed one of Coach Tom Moore's games, including a distant match that happened in the middle of a blizzard.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835 Highland Drive, Prosser.