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Francis Walter

Francis J. Walter

Saturday, March 8th, 1941 - Saturday, February 13th, 2021
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Obituary

Francis J. Walter passed away from esophageal cancer on the morning of February 13, 2021 at home, surrounded by family.

He was born to Joseph and Dorothy Walter on March 8, 1941 in Woodbury, New Jersey. His family moved to Bellmawr, New Jersey shortly after, where Fran and his older brother, Joe, lived for most of their youth. A devout Catholic since childhood, Fran attended only Catholic institutions in his early years. He graduated from St. Mary’s Grade School 1955, and Gloucester Catholic High School in 1959. A student of academic excellence, Fran was awarded a scholarship to a university, but instead he attended Drexel University. There, he earned a B.S. in 1964 and M.S. in 1970, both in Electrical Engineering.

During his undergraduate years at Drexel, Fran participated in the co-op program and worked for five years at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. It was here that he met the woman he would marry, Joan. She was attending the University of Pennsylvania and was working her summers as a secretary at the Shipyard. The two married in 1965.

Fran and Joan started their family in Philadelphia with the birth of daughter, Cheryl, and then son, Chris. The family then moved to Springfield, PA, where their third child, Julie, was born. While growing his family, Fran found the time to graduate and accept a full-time position at the Naval Shipyard, where he worked for several years as a Systems Engineer, before accepting a new position at the Naval Air Development Center (NADC). It was also during this time that Fran moved his family to a house that he designed, built, and lived in for 49 years in Doylestown, Bucks County. In Doylestown, Fran raised his family, now grown to four children, as son Rob was born.

While at NADC, he was the development leader for an innovative Software Development Facility which developed airborne real-time operational computer software. His strong personnel and technical leadership skills in this endeavor greatly contributed to the success of this system development program. Fran will be remembered as a sincere friend to his co-workers, as well as an individual who always exhibited engineering professionalism in every task he performed.

In the early 80’s, he left NADC, and moved to GE Aerospace to continue to work as a Systems Engineer. He remained there, as the company was purchased by Martin Marietta, and then became Lockheed Martin, until he retired in 2006.

Fran spent his retirement doing things he loved. He enjoyed the pursuit of all learning. He especially loved reading about airplanes, politics, and World War II. Attending air shows was a passion of his and combined his love of the outdoors with his love of airplanes. He and Joan loved to host large family gatherings for the holidays and birthdays. They enjoyed attending grade school, high school and college events for all of the grandchildren, and were frequently spotted along the sidelines at a soccer game, or watching a track meet, or in an auditorium at any one of many graduation events over the years.

Fran was a devoted and caring husband to his wife, father to all of his children, and then his grandchildren. Fran dedicated his life to caring for his family, having taken care of both his mother and his father in their final years. He also cared for the world around him as an avid gardener. It was a rare day when Fran couldn’t be spotted from the window doing a few hours of yard work, no matter the weather. Up until the end of his life, he maintained a large and beautiful backyard, protected by a St. Francis statue. He was a caregiver of the land and to every person in his life. He will be deeply and truly missed.

Fran is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan, his daughter, Cheryl, son, Chris, daughter Julie (Vince), and son, Rob; his grandchildren: Sarah, Abbi, Reid, and Matt; his brother, Joe (Virginia), and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Due to COVID, services and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Walter’s name to: Gloucester Catholic High School at 333 Ridgeway Street, Gloucester, NJ 08030, and note FJ Walter Donation in the memo field.
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Private Condolence
RS

Regina Saquella

Posted at 08:40am
Fran led a life full of love, courage and accomplishment. Most of all, he was a devoted spouse, father, sibling and friend. He truly was a gentleman and a scholar. We lost a good man.

Regina and Ralph Saquella
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