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Walter Wakefield

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Walter F. "Fred" Wakefield

1928-2013 PITTSFIELD Walter F. "Fred" Wakefield, 85, of Needmore, Pa. passed away Thursday, April 25, 2013 at Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill, Pa.

Fred was born in Kansas City, Missouri on March 7, 1928, the son of the late William Harry and Hazel (Stoddart) Wakefield. He was the husband of Stella S. (Swope) Wakefield whom he married on September 24, 1949.

Mr. Wakefield was educated at Eastern High School in Washington, D.C., graduated from George Washington University in 1951 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre from 1945 to 1948.

He worked for the General Electric Company for 35 years starting in 1951 in Syracuse, New York. Fred was part of the group working on the first computer guidance system for the Air Force. In 1959 he was transferred to Pittsfield, Mass. where he was manager of the group which developed the guidance systems for the Polaris and Poseidon missile systems. By the end of his 35 year General Electric career, he had been promoted to General Electric headquarters in Bridgeport, Conn. serving as a general computer consultant and troubleshooting for the company as a whole. He also served as adjunct professor at Union College in Albany, N.Y.

Mr. Wakefield retired from General Electric in 1986 and worked as a consultant for the Institute for Defense Analysis where he retired in 2005. Locally, he also was partners with Lyle Mellott in McConnellsburg Motor and Implement.

He was active in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, the South Congregational Church in Pittsfield, and also was a member of the Sideling Hill Christian Church, Needmore, Pa. Fred enjoyed singing tenor in a Barbershop Quartet and with a chorus, "The Berkshire Hillsmen".

After his final retirement, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, attending his grandchildrens' activities, working on his house and his farm.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons, Dennis Alan Wakefield of Pittsburgh, Pa., Robert Charles Wakefield of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Richard Jeffery (husband of Janet) Wakefield of North Easton, Mass., Mark Steven (husband of Linda) Wakefield of Franklin, Mass.; daughter, Lisa Ann (wife of Ed) Wenschhof of Needmore, Pa.; daughter-in-law, Jeanne Singer of Waynesboro, Pa.; grandchildren, Matthew Paul (husband of Robin), Patrick William (husband of Meghan), Rachel, Olivia, Benjamin, Emily, Sara, Rebecca, Edward, Jared and Spencer, great grandchildren Elliot, Jasper, Katie and Luke. Preceded in death by son, William Russel Wakefield; brothers, Robert, John and James Wakefield.

Religious Service at Sideling Hill Christian Church, Needmore, Pa., at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 29, 2013 with Pastor William Swope officiating.

Interment at Sideling Hill Christian Cemetery, Needmore, Pa.

There will be visitation on Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 2 to 8 p.m. at HOWARD L. SIPES FUNERAL HOME, INC., McConnellsburg, Pa. There will also be visitation one hour before the service on Monday at the church.

Military services will be conducted by the Fulton Honor Guard.

Arrangements were made by the Howard L. Sipes Funeral Home, Inc., 873 Lincoln Way East, McConnellsburg, PA 17233. Online condolences may be expressed at www.howardlsipes.com
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Apr. 27, 2013
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