Walter R. Stapelfeld, 96, of Taunton, MA and Naples, FL, died unexpectedly on Saturday, February 16, 2012 at Naples Community Hospital. A former resident of Marlboro, MA. He and wife, Ethel Belmore-Beecroft Stapelfeld (deceased 2009) were married for 72 years. Born January 7, 1917 in Marlboro, MA, he was the son of the late Herman Robert Walter Stapelfeld (1880-1936), of Hamburg, and mother Marie Boekenkamp (1883-1939) of Westphalia, Germany He graduated from Marlboro High School, Class of 1935, received a diploma from the Chicago Technical College, Extension Division in Construction Estimating and Building Supervision. In his younger years Walter enjoyed baseball, where he was Captain of his high school team. In the early years of his married life, he and his family were members of the First Congregational Church of Marlboro. Since the 1960s he has been a member of The First Congregational Church, Fall River. He was a member of the United Brethen Grand Lodge of Masons AM & FM for more than 60 years (32nd Degree) and a member of the Aleppo Temple Shriners of Boston, and was Worthy Patron of Corinthian Chapter 55, Order of The Eastern Star, Hudson, MA, which he did simultaneously with his wife Ethel, Worthy Matron. In 1959 he served another term as Worthy Patron during his daughter Karens term as Worthy Matron. He was an active member of the Carpenters Local Union 988, Marlboro and served as Secretary for 14 years. In 1972 he retired (with 24 years of service) as an estimator and Superintendent of G. Bonazzoli & Sons, a general contractor located in Hudson, MA. In the course of his construction career he received numerous letters of commendation from contractors and leaders of his various engagements. During World War II he pursued a commission in the U.S. Navel Reserve but there were no openings to suit his qualifications. He focused his patriotic efforts in the construction of staging areas for military training while working for various general contractors throughout Massachusetts. In the early years of their marriage, Walter constructed homes and did other carpentry jobs evenings and weekends on his own to meet the challenging financial circumstances of his family during difficult post-Depression years. His family describes Walter (Pops, Papa) as much loved and respected by his children, grandchildren and great grand-children, a respect, they emphasize, has been earned and deeply deserved. Family members stated that people who have known Pops for many years, have many times described him as a trusted friend and family man who despite numerous medical problems in his advanced age, never complained and managed always to maintain a sense of humor He is survived by his daughter Karen and son-in-law Rick, his daughter Carla Rock and companion Fred Frey, and son Norval D. and wife Luda (and in earlier years to Norvals deceased wife Sharon). He was preceded in death by George, Charles and Herbert, and for many years has remained close to his sister-in-law Alice Stapelfeld (Herberts widow). Also, he leaves his beloved grandchildren Carla Anne (husband David) Henderson; William J. (wife Catherine) Dreyer; Peter M. (wife Bridgett) Petrillo; Douglas S. (wife Dawn); Eric S. (wife Tasha) Stapelfeld and 16 great grandchildren: Ashley and Peter A. Petrillo; Lauren, Julia and William Henderson; Nicholas and Carolyn Dreyer; Cameron, Alex, Cassandra, Maxwell and Elisabeth Stapelfeld; and Lily, Eric II, Ava and Sylvie Stapelfeld. He also had loving nieces and nephews. A memorial service is being planned for early summer in Falmouth, MA. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to charities of choice. Arrangements are being made by Fuller Funeral Home, Naples, FL and Waring-Sullivan Fall River, MA.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Marlborough Enterprise from Feb. 20 to Feb. 27, 2013