Groton - Walter Davis Brown died peacefully on Jan. 26, 2013, at his Country Glen apartment in Groton.
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Walt was born on Aug. 26, 1939, in Westerly, the eldest son of Betty Davis and Stephen Brown.
He was married to Lenore White for 36 years and is survived by his two brothers, Bill and David Brown of Pawcatuck; his children, Tricia Rivera of New London, Todd Brown of Groton Long Point, Suzanne Ellery of Noank, Chris Brown of Decatur, Ala., and Emily Hayes of North Stonington; as well as 13 grandchildren.
Walt graduated from Stonington High School in 1957, where he played on the state championship basketball team in 1956. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Providence College in 1961 and a master's degree in education from Eastern Connecticut College in 1969. In 1973, he earned a master's degree in counseling from the University of Rhode Island.
Walt was a longtime local teacher who retired from the Groton school system in 1995, after teaching middle school science for 32 years. In his early teaching years, he taught physics at St. Bernard High School in New London and in Marshfield, Mass. In the 70s, Walt led his Ecology Club at Fitch Junior High School to initiate a recycling program in Groton for glass and newspapers. Following his retirement from West Side Middle School, he often liked to joke that it took him 32 years to graduate from the seventh grade!
Walt was also very active with education groups outside the classroom. He was president of the Noank School PTA and a member of the Connecticut Education Association, National Education Association, Groton Federation of Teachers, and he also served for many years on the board of directors of the Groton Municipal Federal Credit Union. As a proud Providence College alumni, he served as president of the New London/Washington County Club of Providence College, retiring in 2008.
Wally's many hobbies revolved around sports and his love of working with kids. He was the Groton Long Point Yacht Club summer program director for several years and also won many tennis tournaments with friends and family who fondly remember the tennis scrambles that Wally organized. He was an IAABO basketball referee and EBCABO baseball umpire from 1963 to 2006 as well as president of the EBCABO from 1994 to 2006. He coached Groton youth basketball and baseball teams, and was once vice president of the Groton 16-18 Baseball League. He coached the St. Bernard girl's tennis team to two state championships and also officiated professional tennis at the Newport Tennis Hall Of Fame for 10 years. Walt was the director of the St. Mary's Folk Group for 15 years. He had a beautiful voice which he enjoyed sharing with good friends at The Seahorse, The Fisherman, and during his many G.L.P. Clams Fiasco parties.
Walt was most proud of his family and also of his impact on the students he taught. Recently, he ran into several students at the hospital who fondly reminisced about what a great teacher Mr. Brown was, always incorporating humor and life lessons into the classroom.
Walt's family would like to thank Hospice Southeastern Connecticut and HomeLife Companions and Homemakers for their devoted care which allowed Walt to remain at home. They would also like to thank his outstanding medical team including his favorite VNA nurse, Farida, and Drs. Scarles, Felitto, Gaudio, Navins, Enquist, and Feder, who spent time getting to know Walt and providing excellent advice and comfort to his family.
There are no calling hours, however, there will be a Memorial Mass celebration at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer at the top of Fort Hill in Groton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Walt's favorite charity, The Jimmy Fund (www.jimmyfund.org), which is also supported by his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.
To sign the online guest book or send the family a condolence message, please visit www.dinotofuneral.com
Published in The Day on Jan. 28, 2013