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Walter Wilson Sr.

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Walter Wilson Sr. Obituary
Wilson Sr., Walter Carlton Walter was born Doyle Clifford Pope on September 7, 1922 to Alexander and Cora Lee (Morrison) Pope in Columbus, Georgia. He and his two sisters were put in the custody of the Florida Methodist Orphanage in 1931. He was adopted by Walter Kirby and Florence (Bartlett) Wilson in 1935 and moved to Watertown, Connecticut. His name was changed to Walter Carlton Wilson. He met Catherine Margaretha Coley, his future wife, in Florida. The Wilson and Coley families were friends and both wintered in Florida and enjoyed raising bees - not that Catherine did - but that is how Walter and Catherine met. Walter graduated from Mount Herman Academy (now known as Northfield Mount Herman School) in 1942. With the outbreak of World War II in December, 1941, Walter enlisted in the U.S. Navy upon graduation. He served in the Pacific Theater aboard LSTs as a First Class Radioman. He participated in several invasions in the Gilbert (Makin), Marshall (Kwajalein and Eniwetok), and Marianas (Saipan and Tinian) Islands. Walter received his Honorable Discharge from the Navy in October, 1945. On December 2, 1944, Walter married Catherine, the love of his life, at Norfield Congregational Church, Weston, Connecticut. While in the Naval Reserve Walter was called to active duty in September, 1950 in response to the Korean conflict. He served as the Chief Radio Operator aboard the heavy cruiser, USS St. Paul and received an Honorable Discharge in April 1952. Walter and Catherine lived in Watertown, Connecticut until July, 1957 when he accepted a transfer opportunity from his employer, the Bristol Company (now known as Babcock Bristol) to Houston, Texas. So Walter, Catherine and their four children (Walter, Jr, Doyle, Kimberly, and Gregg) made Houston their new home. Walter had a successful career as a field service engineer with Bristol and Catherine was a fifth grade English teacher in the Houston Independent School District. Upon retirement Walter and Catherine moved to Wytheville, Virginia where they lived on 25 acres of beautiful countryside. They then moved to Stephenville, Texas (to be closer to their children and grandchildren). Their final move was to Dallas, Texas. During 'their retirement years Walter and Catherine traveled extensively. Both were life-long learners. They took many elder hostel educational trips. One of Catherine's favorite sayings was 'get me a ticket to anywhere'. Walter wisely always went along and they both had a wonderful time. Among the places they traveled to, outside of the United States, were Europe and Bermuda. Walter loved to sing and he often broke into song unexpectedly. He also had favorite sayings or poem verses that came to his mind often. One of his favorites was Longfellow's 'A Psalm of Life': "Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not the goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul." Catherine preceded Walter in death. It was difficult for Walter, and now they are together. Walter is survived by his children, Walter C. Wilson, Jr., Doyle Coley Wilson, Kimberly Ann Navarrete, and Gregg Charles Wilson, grandchildren Megan Foytik, James Navarrete, Amy Wilson, Katie Wilson, Matthew Navarrete, Jason Wilson, Ian Wilson and Alex Wilson and half-brother-in-Iaw William Booth Coley. A memorial service will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Restland Abbey Chapel.


Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 20, 2014
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