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William Wallace "Wally" Fenn

Obituary
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Groton - William Wallace "Wally" Fenn, of Noank, passed away at Beechwood Manor in New London, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after a short illness and a long happy, productive life.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carolyn (Dunning) Fenn; his daughter, Bonnie (Fenn) Sullivan of Waterford; his son, Paul Wallace Fenn of Annapolis, Md.; his sister, Ruth (Fenn) Starman; his brother, David Fenn; and seven grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Betsy Ann; and his sister, Priscilla (Fenn) Roslansky.

Born Dec. 31, 1920, in Boston Mass., he was the son of Wallace Osgood Fenn and Clara Bryce Comstock Fenn. He graduated from Harvard University in 1942 after being advised to finish school when he volunteered for service after the Pearl Harbor attack. While attending Harvard, he enjoyed playing on the lacrosse team and in the university band. Upon graduation, he attended officers candidate school and was posted to the Pacific Theater as a radar countermeasures officer in the Army Air Core, where he served for the duration.

He married the love of his life, Carolyn Ruth Dunning in 1947 in Rochester, N.Y. He graduated from Rensselaer Politechnic Institute in 1949 in electrical engineering, and earned a master's degree from New York University in operations research in 1968.

He worked for many years at the Norden Division of United Aircraft, but changed careers after deciding that building weapons was not the positive impact he wanted to make on the world. He finished his working years as an operations research analyst at Rhode Island Hospital, where he solved efficiency problems that resulted in smoother transitions for patients and the hospital community.

After he retired, he volunteered for several years at the New London Area Food Pantry and the New London Community Meal Center.

He took great joy in life; he was an avid sailor, and an amateur ice hockey player. His greatest recreational pleasure in his later years came from his membership in The Westerly Morris Men. He performed regularly with them for thirty years, dancing for the last time after his 90th birthday at the Chorus of Westerly's 12th Night.

A Celebration of His Life will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 8, 2014, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in New London.

Donations in his memory may be sent to The Camp Harkness Fund, The New London Area Food Pantry, or the New London Community Meal Center.
Published in The Day on Jan. 12, 2014
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