Kirtland C. (Kirt) Walp, 79, of the Lee Park section of Hanover Township, passed away on Friday at his home.
Born on March 26, 1934, in the Dundee section of Hanover Township, he was a son of the late Carl and Ann Williams Walp. He graduated from Hanover High School, class of 1951, then served two apprenticeships: one as a machinist and one for tool and die making at W.H. Nicholson Co. in Wilkes-Barre. He worked on the oxygen supply assembly to put the first living thing in space in the late 1950s. He also worked on all tooling related to bombs that were used in the Korean War
and a project related to Berrillium copper for the non-magnetic land mines.
In the 1960s Kirt was employed at Fibrous Products, now called CertainTeed, to build a mold to make a Fiberglas cushion for the first Titan missile launched from Huntsville, Ala.
He earned a master's degree from Penn State in 1972. He began a career in teaching, first at Wyoming Valley Technical Institute, which became West Side Area Tech School and is now West Side Career and Technology Center in Pringle, retiring in 1993. He also taught for Penn State, Luzerne County Community College, RCA Corp., American Tobacco, Kanaar Corp. and others that wanted instruction in blueprint reading, math and measuring tools. He had been offered employment at Williamsport Tech Center and a staff position at Penn State University
, but declined in order to stay in the Wyoming Valley.
Kirt loved hunting, clay bird and target shooting and was an avid Lionel Train user, not a collector.
He was a member of Firwood United Methodist Church, Wilkes-Barre, was active in Blue Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Nanticoke, where he was a 50-year member, president of the Hall Association and served as a trustee. He belonged to Irem Shriners, where he was a member of the Stewards Unit for 40 years, on the executive committee for 30 years, and was potentate's aide for 10 years.
Kirt was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, the former Marion King, on Sept. 2, 2011. They loved to travel and made several cross-country trips, visiting 48 states, took seven cruises, 38 time-share vacations, plus many trips with the Shriners. He was also preceded in death by his brother, William Walp.
Surviving are sons, Gary Walp and his wife, Mary Kay, and granddaughter, Carla, Swoyersville, and Wayne Walp and his wife, Donna, and granddaughters, Lauren and Chelsea, Whitehall, Pa.; as well as several brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E. Broad St., Nanticoke, with the Rev. Anita J. Ambrose, pastor of First Welsh Baptist Church, Plymouth, officiating.
Interment will follow in Denison Cemetery, Swoyersville.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. A Masonic Memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, contributions in Mr. Walp's memory may be made to the Masonic Hall Association of Nanticoke Lodge F & A M, 210 E. Main St., Nanticoke, PA 18634 or to Firwood United Methodist Church, 399 Old River Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 187802.