Walter Slavin died peacefully on August 10, 2021 at his home in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for a number of years. He was born on April 28, 1927 in Ajo, Arizona to Morris (Mick) and Anne (nee Richmond) Slavin. The family came east and settled in College Park, Maryland. Walter graduated from Hyattsville High School in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Army. Because he was under 18, and too young for combat duty, the Army sent him to college at Virginia Technical University and Carnegie-Mellon Institute. When he turned 18 he was assigned to the Transportation Corps and was based on a ship that brought Australian war brides back to the United States.
When the war ended, soldiers who could show proof of admittance to a university were given an early discharge. Walter enrolled at the University of Maryland and majored in physics. After graduation he married Josephine Lewis and began to work at the American Instrument Company designing analytical instruments. They bore three children, Michael, David and Naomi.
In 1957 the family moved to Connecticut and Walter began to design instruments at the Perkin-Elmer Corporation. They moved to Ridgefield in 1959. Walter was responsible for the design and development of atomic absorption spectrophotometers and Perkin-Elmer became the world leader in that new technique.
Walter married Sabina Sprague, also a Perkin-Elmer employee, in 1965 and she survives him. Together they toured the world both for Perkin-Elmer and for personal pleasure. Walter retired from Perkin-Elmer in 1991. He was very involved in the Ridgefield community and served many years on the Planning and Zoning Commission. He was also a lover of music and was in the audience at the first concert given by the Ridgefield Symphonette, now the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. He and Sabina were supporters of the RSO since its inception. They also were long-time subscribers to the Metropolitan Opera and attended a number of concerts at Carnegie Hall.
Walter is survived by Sabina, his wife of more than 55 years, and his three children, Michael (Marji) of Baldwin City, Kansas, David (Lynn) of Cranbury, New Jersey and Naomi Kroeger (Doug) of Basking Ridge, New Jersey. In addition, his seven grandchildren, who adored him, are among his survivors, as is his sister, Frances Sherwin of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Walter will be remembered at a Celebration of his Life in September. Details will be announced soon. He can be honored by donations to Founders Hall, where he spent many happy hours, or to the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra of which he was a long-time supporter, or to the Ridgefield VNA Hospice program which took care of him during his waning months.
Published by Danbury News Times & The Ridgefield Press on Aug. 17, 2021.