The Coulter family moved to Lakewood, Ohio, from Wayne County in the early 1900s. They opened a drug store and restaurant at the corner of Detroit and Sloane in 1907.
Walter Coulter was born on September 9, 1918. He grew up in the family business. His proficiency in the kitchen made him a natural candidate to be a cook in the army.
Walter married Helen Kennedy on September 20, 1941. Their three children were born in 1943, 1955, and 1965.