Walter James Dugan
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1922-2013 Walter James Dugan, age 91, passed away in his home on December 6, 1013. He was born March 20, 1922 in Lansingburgh, New York to Walter J. Dugan and Deborah Faden Dugan. Walt was a hardworking, driven individual, steadfast in his goals. His principles and dedication led to considerable success in both his professional and personal life He graduated from LaSalle Institute of Troy, NY, where he was Colonel of the Cadet regiment. In 1940, he entered the field of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later continued his education at Cornell University. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, and by 1943 was named Engineering Officer of the LST-49 L As part of LST-491, he survived the invasion of Normandy, as well as participating in operations in the Philippines and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was discharged in 1946. He then married Grace Mary Kennedy on July 13, 1946 with whom he shared 53 years of joyful marriage. They had three children and two wonderful grandchildren that brought immense joy and meaning to the couple's life He took delight in the success of his son Bob's entrepreneurial pursuit and the successful undertaking of his business Thor Guard. Walt's many achievements included teaching, publication in scientific journals: membership in the scientific research society of Sigma Xi, a master's degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer, and extensive business ventures abroad that vastly expanded the company and help put it on the map. Among those mentioned, the most notable was his outstanding service to General Electric. He first joined GE in 1948 as part of the Silicone Products Department and moved on to the Lexan Polycarbonate Plastics business. Of his many professional accomplishments, he was very proud to have played a key role during the initial phase of these businesses that led to the success of two new important products of the 20th century. Due to his extreme discipline, he flourished as a figurehead of GE, serving as General Manager and Vice President to various branches of the company from 1966 to 1983. In 1988 he retired to spend quality time with his family: and particularly his wife Grace before her unexpected loss in 1999 they pursued their love of foreign travel together, amassing memories in all places of interest worldwide. On May 9. 2003, Walter remarried to Barbara H. Reese who brought him happiness and fulfillment for the rest of his days. Walt recognized Barbara as an extremely devoted caretaker, remaining true to their vows in sickness and in health, even in times of hardship He felt that of all his great life experiences, he was most fortunate for the legacy of his family and the two wonderful women he called his wife. Walter is survived by wife Barbara; his children Robert (Susan) of Marco Island, FL. and Lynn Julian of Salt Lake City, UT: Brother Ray (Lois) Dugan, Fort Myers, Florida, grandchildren Megan and Patrick Ryan, as well as granddaughters Roxy and Gwen Julian. Walt also leaves behind Barbara's children: Jeff Smith (Nikki), Clark Smith (Leslie), Susan Turner (Doug); and her grandchildren Gray and Matt Turner, Spencer, Sam. and Tanner Smith, Ashley and Mike Brown, Paige Smith. Clark Smith and Brian Rhorer. Walt was preceded in death by his daughter Pamela Marshall, sister Ruth Maloy, brother Bill Dugan, and his parents. Walt would like to give special thanks to his wonderful doctor over the many years - Dr. Jeffrey Twitchell at the Salt Lake Clinic, additionally, Dr. Donald Lapee at Intermountain Health Care: Levy Suarez, his steadfast caregiver of the past few years, and the caregivers at Summit Home Health, Becky, Jill, and Mary, and to Marina. FUNEARL NOTICE: A Funeral mass will be celebrated Wednesday, December 11, 11:00 am at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church 1975 South 2300 East. Funeral Directors Neil O'Donnell & Sons. A gathering will be held at Barbara and Walter's home for family and friends. A Funeral mass will be celebrated Saturday, December 14th at Saint Pius Catholic Church in Loudonville, New York. Committal Saint Agnes Mausoleum in Menands, New York.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Dec. 11, 2013