My friend died. I missed his funeral.
I met him many years ago when I first started teaching at Niantic-Harristown. He seemed to just float around the building, ready to help anyone who needed a little assistance.
He occasionally subbed in my English classes. OK, so he would mix up the adjectives and the adverbs, but my students always were entertained by his experiences as part of the Our Gang crew (I believe his mom and dad had been vaudevillians). Or they may have been blessed with a little more American History that day as he regaled them with stories of WWII.
And generous, he was most generous! When this educator began her master’s program in administration, he unselfishly loaned me his computer system for the one class that demanded I learn how to use one at a time when most homes were sans said systems!
Years later when I became an actual administrator, he was the first I called when in need of a sub. I knew if nothing else, he would entertain “those kids” with his stories of WWII and Our Gang! And “those kids” listened! Never had to worry about any behavioral problems when he joined us. I think they were in awe of a gentleman “his age” who accepted them as they were but still expected them to listen and learn. And I never heard anything but positive comments from the students about “Walt,” as he allowed them to call him.
Amazingly since then, he became a “grandfather” to a neighbor who married into his family, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with his son while I now sub.
Walt Walker, you were an amazing person. Keep heaven on its toes with all those WWII stories and Our Gang tales. I will miss you.
Sue Long, Decatur