Aug. 3, 1945 - April 18, 2020 When Walter was 5 years old he was asked by a reporter for the LA Mirror what he wanted to be when he grew up. He replied that he had read a book about coal miners, and thought that playing with dynamite sounded like a lot of fun, so he wanted to be a coal miner. Walter never got to live that particular dream, but throughout his life he continued to read a lot of books. Walter loved to learn, and completed three different Masters degrees in History, English, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Walter also spoke both French and Arabic and was attending classes at the Pasadena Senior Center at the time of his death. Following his school years Walter spent the rest of his life teaching and helping others, initially as a social worker but mostly as a teacher. He volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent four years in Tunisia teaching adults in Tunis and Kasserine Pass before returning home to teach high school. He mostly taught in inner city schools with at-risk youth, but in his later years also taught in community colleges. Except for his time in Tunisia and at UCLA he lived his entire life in Pasadena, where he was born and grew up. Walter was interested in almost everything, and continued to learn and grow throughout his life. For example, he restored a vintage 1953 MG, took up ballroom dancing, was an avid hiker, a member of the Sierra Club, and was active politically. He was interested in religion, and attended services at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena as well as practicing meditation and being a cafeteria Buddhist. He loved music and played both guitar and oud, and had an extensive jazz collection. He also had a soft spot for quirky small motorcycles and other vehicles, and owned one motorcycle, two mopeds, and three cars at the time of his death. Walter died in his sleep following a short illness. Although he died during the Covid pandemic we do not believe that Covid was involved. Because of the current shelter in place orders we cannot schedule a memorial service, but I know that Walter will miss his family and friends, as we will miss him.
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Published in Pasadena Star-News on May 2, 2020.