July 23, 1922 – February 13, 2019
Born July 23, 1922 Strathmore Alberta. Died February 13, 2019 Smithers BC
Raised in Strathmore Alberta, Walter was the second oldest of five siblings. Completing school in 1942, Walter joined the RCAF. He served as a navigator during WW2 flying over the Atlantic until his discharge in September 1945. He attended U of A in Edmonton, graduating in 1948.
In August of 1950 Walter re-joined the RCAF and began an accounting career in Trenton ON. A year before this he had met and dated a beautiful young woman from Strathmore named Sheila Graham: they married in Vancouver August 8, 1951 and began their married life in Toronto at RCAF Station Downsview.
Walter was transferred to 2 Fighter Wing in France in 1953 and his young wife and son stayed with Sheila’s family in Williams Lake for the year. Four more children joined the family as they moved between postings in Calgary, Trenton, Toronto, Bagotville QC and Clinton ON.
Retiring from the RCAF in early 1968, the family moved west to start civilian life in Smithers. Walter worked as an accountant for Bulkley Valley Forest Industries in Burns Lake & Houston, Rose, Gale & Co. and finally the Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers from 1971 until retirement in 1985. Walter is well remembered in Smithers as the Manager of BVCU which grew substantially during this time.
Walter and Sheila moved to Victoria in 1985 where they were active retirees: walking around the city, swimming, skating, watching cricket matches in Beacon Hill Park, exploring Vancouver Island, visiting friends and relatives. Sheila passed away too soon in 2000 and Walter continued to live in their apartment in Cook Street Village.
He was physically active for the next 18 years and was a familiar figure walking 5 to 7 miles each day along Dallas Road and throughout the neighborhoods of south Victoria. He made the best of his later years and cherished time spent with all of his family.
Walter had a stroke in January 2018 which made it difficult for him to maintain his independent lifestyle. His eldest daughter Kerry came to Victoria to look after him and after a couple of months he decided that his best option was to live in Smithers so he moved to Kerry’s place in May. Walter got out to walk and visit with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every nice day in Smithers until the end of September.
Walter passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday February 13th with his loving family around him. He is missed and survived by his children Michael, Kerry, Danny, Wendy and Christopher. Also surviving Walter are many grandchildren and great-grandchildren spread between Smithers, Victoria and Vancouver, as well as nieces, nephews and his sister Joan (Frank) McDermott in Alberta.
Walter asked that there be no formal service, however, we will get together to remember Walter and tell stories when the weather is nice in the spring. Any donations in Walter’s name should be made to the charity of your choice.