May 21, 1930- November 14, 2020.
Wally was a true friend and a kind soul, who loved a good story and favored a clever joke.
As a brilliant young man, Wally studied under Noble Prize laureates Richard Feynman and Linus Pauling, graduating from Caltech with a PhD. in Chemical and Electrical Engineering.
It was fellow Caltech student Richard McKay who would introduce Wally to Gail McKay. Wally and Gail fell in love and were married in Pasadena, beginning a life of adventure and adoration that lasted more than 50 years.
Their lives together began in coastal California, where they spent weekends sailing, going to the beach, and raising their young family.
Wally began his technical career in California, working for Convair and General Research Corporation before deciding to build his own technology firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, he would develop and patent, angular motion sensors and optical systems for the Airborne Laser Laboratory. Wally's acumen in small business was honored in a ceremony at the White House. Under the vast New Mexico skies, Wally's enjoyment of the outdoors flourished as an expert skier and hot air balloon pilot. While flying balloons in Southern Colorado, Wally and Gail discovered Durango, deciding to retire in Bayfield.
They built a house by the Pine River, and for 26 years developed great friends and watched their grandchildren grow. The love of his life, Gail passed in 2012, and this last November Wally departed, leaving behind children Kevin, Brenda, Bradley, and Gwyneth; along with grandchildren Michelle, Dane, Kainan, Zoe, Liam, and Merrick.
Wally was a tremendous father and grandfather, and a joy to be around. He will be missed by a great many, and we are thankful for knowing him.
Published in The Durango Herald on Feb. 16, 2021.