Walter Andrew Lenio
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FRIENDSWOOD, TX: Walter Andrew Lenio, 93, of Friendswood, Texas, went to be with his loving God and onto the next dimension of this Divinely-created universe on September 25, 2013. He was born on November 26, 1919 in Edenborn, Pennsylvania to Stanislaus Joseph and Josephine Schudy Lenio.
Walt was raised with four sisters and one brother in Warren, Ohio. Walt's father, Stanley, emigrated from Poland with two brothers, arriving on Ellis Island, New York in the early 1900's. Stanley was a coal miner and self-employed carpenter whose love and respect for this country and his family was passed along to his children and their eventual families. Walt enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps during this country's Great Depression, working in Wooster, Ohio and sending home $2.00 a week for his parents from the $3.00 he was paid a week by the CCC. Sister Clara (Coast Guard) and brother Ed (Army) would enlist during WWII, and Walt would hear his patriotic calling and enlist in the United States Army Air Forces in December 1941. He would later train at Camp Wallace in Hitchcock, Texas to operate barrage balloons on the California coast. Walt was also trained as an MP for domestic transport of enemy prisoners. Walt would lose his 24-year-old, only brother during WWII as an MIA soldier in Bataan, Philippines in May 1942. Walt would also later enlist in the Air Force Reserve during the Korean War, stationed in Europe as were many others who unknowingly anticipated a global expansion of this conflict.
"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." While love and service called him to serve his country, Walt was first and foremost a servant of the Lord and his family. While a pupil of the Paulist Fathers and an active parishioner in the 1950's, Walt would meet his lifelong partner and wife, Liz, in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1957 while working at Hill Air Force Base as an Avionics Technician. Liz and Walt moved with their two young sons to central Ohio in 1963 where he continued his civil service work at the Newark Air Force Station as a Metrology Technician. Later moving his family to Heath, Ohio, Walt continued to be a loving, loyal, and mentoring husband and father and a seasonally cynical Ohio State football fan ("pass the ball Woody, pass the ball."). His family's bond and their individual lives flourished under his love, guidance, and work ethic, and his family dearly loved him. Walt retired as a civil servant to the United States Air Force after 38 years, only to work 8 more years as an Inspector for Diebold, Inc. in Hebron, Ohio. Liz and Walt moved to Friendswood, Texas in 1999 to support, nurture, and grow with their grandchildren. Walt's hobbies were his family, grandchildren, watching golf and college football-basketball, planting-growing trees, the Texas Lottery, and (oh boy, don't get him started) American politics. Originally a Democrat, later a Republican, but always an American, Walt always believed he was blessed to be born in this great country, a land of real opportunity where hard work, honesty, and kindness was the way you made a difference in your life, never taking anything for granted, and genuinely wanting the best for everyone.
Walt combined his love of sports, his military service, and love of life overall by echoing the words of Woody Hayes, "If it's easy, it ain't worth a damn".
In his time on Earth, Walt exemplified Psalm 62:1-2, "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." Walt is now in the glorious and peaceful presence of the Lord, where he surely was greeted with, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
Walt is preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, his sisters Pauline and Katherine, and brother Ed. He is survived by his sisters Clara (Ohio) and Annette (Florida). He is also survived by his wife Liz of 55 years, son Ed and his wife Sharon, son Jim, and grandchildren Michael, Matthew, and Mallory
As Walt would have done, the Lenio Family would like to thank the MANY loving family, friends, co-workers, and caregivers who Walt was blessed to have met in his life. Walt and the Lenio Family would also like to thank Dr. Pranav Bhakta and his staff, Dr. Alan Silverblatt and his staff, Dr. Robert Farrell, the Clear Lake Regional Hospital cardiac care teams, hospice nurses Jamieko, Katie, Lorraine, and Charlie, Jeter Memorial Funeral Home, Mary Queen Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council #8494, the Mary Queen ACTS brothers and sisters, Sharon & staff at Stones Throw Apartments, Leeza & staff at the Bedford Apartments, Dawes Arboretum, NASA, Neil Diamond, Charley Pride, Bill O'Reilly, Charleston Tea Room & Café, Perry and Sons Market & Grille, and Kelley's Country Cookin.
In lieu of flowers, remember Walt by contacting a family member or friend, hugging your loved one or child, telling someone you love them and you care, or taking a moment to count your blessings, remembering more what you do have rather than what you don't have.
Published in the The Advocate on Oct. 3, 2013