John Wensel "Jack" Walter, 79, of Hagerstown, Md., and formerly of New Bethlehem, peacefully passed away on May 14, 2021 with his family by his side.
He fought a long and courageous battle with COPD, which was recently complicated by the discovery of lung cancer. Despite all he endured, he still maintained his sense of humor and positive outlook.
Born June 2, 1941 in Wilkensburg, he was the son of Betty Wensel and John Emil Walter. He was raised on Washington Street in New Bethlehem by his grandparents, Frank Dale and Jennie Latimer Wensel. He always called New Bethlehem home.
Jack attended Redbank Valley schools where he participated in basketball and baseball.
He joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and proudly served through 1963 as a boiler tender aboard the U.S.S. Antietam, an aircraft carrier based out of Pensacola, Fla. Jack completed his GED during his time in service.
After leaving the Navy, he returned to New Bethlehem and worked as a location manager for Servomation Vending Co., a deep coal miner for Keystone Coal and various other jobs in the area.
It was at this time that he met his future wife, Betty Marie Bish. They were married on March 26, 1964.
Jack was a member of the First United Methodist Church in New Bethlehem.
He was an active member of the Redbank Valley Volunteer Ambulance Company and a founding member of the Clarion County Ambulance Association.
Jack loved life and was well known for his sense of humor and hearty laugh.
He loved to hunt, camp, watch sports, and be with his family and friends and his dog, Charlie. He was especially happy when he was with his grandsons, Roman and AJ.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Betty, of Hagerstown, Md.; a daughter, Jona (Paul) French of Warfordsburg; a son, Jonathan (Erika McManus) Walter of Baton Rouge, La., and their sons, Roman and AJ (Andrew John) Walter; five sisters, Sandi Dubia of New Bethlehem, Ronda Dixon of Sun Rise, Fla., Vona Daily of Harker Heights, Texas, Karen (Charles) Price of Trafford, and Darla (Tom) Lennox of Monroeville; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John E. Walter and Betty Wensel Miller; his grandparents, Frank Dale and Jennie Wensel; two brothers-in-law, Lawrence Dubia and Jim Dixon; and a nephew, Shawn Cornell.
It was Mr. Walter's desire to be cremated. His ashes will be interred at a later date.
All services will be private.
A Celebration of Life will be posted on a Memorial Facebook page and memories may be shared at that time.
Memorials donations can be made in Mr. Walter's name to: For Otis Sake, P.O. Box 39, Maugansville, MD 21767. This organization provides aid to dogs in need of health care, have been abandoned or are presently in high kill shelters.
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Published by The Leader Vindicator from Jun. 1 to Jun. 10, 2021.