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Walter WALKINSHAW Walter passed away at the age of 93 on April 16, 2010. An avid fly fisher man, Walt had a rare ability to bal ance his passion for the out-of-doors with his commitment to his family, law practice, and the community. We will treasure memories of eating oysters around the Tipi fire at the family retreat in the San Juan Is lands; his playful answer to tired young back packers by becoming a choo choo train and hiding lemon drops in his pockets for refueling; the near catastrophe when his can vas foldboat hit a rock and broke to splinters on the Yakima river; his fascination with mushrooms; and his many hours in his dark room printing photos for friends. We will remember his surprise, witty, pene trating comments and wisdom re sulting from eclectic and wide rang ing reading, war experiences, exten sive travel and fine education. Walt was paradoxical - he had an unassuming, somewhat reserved and refined presence combined with an informal, out-going western friendliness. With his toughness in the wilderness and a true sense of equality for all people, he was a quin tessential Northwesterner. Born 1917 in Seattle into a pioneering family (a peak in the Olympics is named after his father Robert B. Walkinshaw). Graduated from Lakeside School, B.A University of Washington (on the tennis team), and law degree George Washington University. One of 40 young Rocke feller Foundation interns chosen from across the country to work in offices of top officials in government in Wn., D.C. Staff member in the Executive Office of the President. In World War II, went on active duty five months before Pearl Harbor. Five years continuous duty at sea as a navigator, involved in major cam paigns in the Pacific. Retired a Com mander in 1946. 1947-51, worked as a Foreign Aid Analyst, U.S. Depart ment of State. Administered scientif ic and cultural exchanges with coun tries of Latin America. With two col leagues, initiated Point 4 technical aid program, a fore-runner for USAID. In private practice for 21 years then joined Riddell Williams Law firm. Attorney for Washington State Hospital Association for 25 years. Drafted many state laws that established the direction of health care, including patient bill of rights, right to die, and licensure of health care professionals. Attorney for ar chitects who designed SeaTac and Seattle Convention Center. Founder of Metropolitan Democratic Club. Officer and director of Washington Fly Fishing Club also of Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, an organization devoted to preserv ing animal habitat and recreation areas. Member of Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, U.S. Depart ment of Commerce, 1980-83. As attor ney for owners of the Nisqually Delta wetlands, steered his clients to sell their land to the government which resulted in a National Wildlife Ref uge on the Delta. Founding secre tary of ACT Theater and remained its secretary, attorney and advisor for 35 years. Helped start Seattle chapter of Amigos de las Americas, an organization that sends teenagers as volunteers to Latin America. On countless other boards including Northwest Kidney Centers, Munici pal League, United Nations Associa tion, and City Club. Walt had unshakable honesty. Stim son Bullitt, law partner and long- time friend once wrote, "You are the only person I have known for whom I thought ethical decisions were not hard - that on coming to a moral fork in the road, you would take the right one without breaking stride". When honoring Walt for forty years in the Monday Club, Bill Golding said, 'What is remarkable to me is that Walt was always ahead of the curve. One only need read his papers to understand the breadth, depth and scope of this true, thinking Renais sance man.' Walt was deeply loved and respected by his wife, children, their spouses, eight grandchildren and devoted friends. His wife Jean and three chil dren, Meg, Rob and Charlie were with him when he died of pneumonia. Typical of his character, he went calmly and with acceptance. He was an elegant man. Gathering for Walt will be at the Graham Center in Seattle Arbore tum on Wed., June 2 at 4:30 P.M. Memorial gifts may be made to ACT Theater, or Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.
Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 25, 2010
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