Walter Whitaker, Jr. Obituary

Walter Eldridge Whitaker, Jr.
Walter Eldridge Whitaker, Jr.

January 18, 1922 - July 19, 2018
Born in Foster, Rhode Island
Resided in Niantic, Connecticut


Walter E. Whitaker Jr., age 96 died peacefully with family present at Fairview Nursing Center on July 19th, 2018. He was a kind, intelligent, and hardworking man who had a full and satisfying life. We will miss him dearly but part of him will always be with us in the many ways he touched our lives.
Walter was born on January 18, 1922 in Foster, RI, the son of Walter and Nora Whitaker. Life was not always easy for this struggling family in Pascoag RI but he was surrounded by love which helped him grow up strong and determined. He started college at URI (Rhode Island State College) being the first of his family to attend college! When WWII broke out he enlisted (June 1943- 46) to serve his country in an Army Infantry unit. He took part in 5 campaigns across North Africa, Italy, France, and finally ending up in Germany during his enlistment. He earned the Bronze Star while there but the memories of war left their own scars, though he generally kept those hidden away until his later years.
Upon his return to the states, Walter went back to URI to complete his degree in Mechanical Engineering. It was there he met Christine Bills, his future wife of 63 years. After graduation in 1948, Walt moved to VA for a job at NASA (at that time called NACA National Advisory Commission for Aeronautics). He and Christine were married in May 1950 and lived a while longer in VA. They then moved to CT for a job at Naval Underwater Systems Center in New London where he worked until 1975, retiring as a Head Engineer in the design division. He worked on many crucial ocean vehicle and structure projects during his time there. They lived in Niantic for most of those years. After retiring, Walt was part of a team to create an ocean engineering consulting company for a few years and then kept himself in great shape doing carpentry work, leaving his mark on many homes around the area.
Walt loved his work and also enjoyed many other activities like boating, traveling, and volunteering for many community organizations. His boating experiences were varied and numerous from sailing his different boats to being a founding member of the Catboat Assn. and past Commodores of NBYC and Crescent Cruising Club. He loved being out at sea! He also loved traveling around the world with his job and on trips with his wife and friends. Giving back to his community was also very important to him and he did just that with his volunteer stints over the years, like the Boy Scouts to Library boards.
Walter is predeceased by his wife Christine and son Todd. Surviving are his daughter Kimberly Goff and husband Bruce, daughter Kristen Beebe and husband Louis, six grandchildren: Amanda Sullivan and husband Kevin, Christy Goff, Todd Whitaker Jr. and wife Alba, Katy Whitaker, Leah Beebe, and Allora Beebe. He also has two great granddaughters, Layla and Anya Sullivan. His daughter in Law Patricia Whitaker.
Calling hours are at Thomas L. Neilan and Sons Funeral Home in Niantic on Friday July 27th from 4-7pm. A Celebration of Life service will take place in August to be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, suggestions for donations can be made to Fairview Nursing home in Groton ( (in memory of Walter) or to Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital, CT ( (in memory of Todd). The staff members at both of these organizations provided much appreciated comfort and support to our family.

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Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Friday, July 27, 2018
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Flanders Baptist & Community Church
Boston Post Road
East Lyme, CT US 06333
Friday, August 17, 2018
4:00 PM

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