Walter “Wally” Williams passed away on Monday, December 27, 2022, one day after his 91st birthday. Born in Wilmington, DE, Wally was 1 of 11 children to Evan and Gertrude Williams.
As the second youngest of 11 kids, Wally was hardwired to have a remarkable work ethic. Before completing high school and reaching his 18th birthday, Wally enlisted with the US Army. More than 6 years in the military, he would eventually serve as a paratrooper, training with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. Wally developed a reputation as a skilled football player and boxer over the course of his enlistment. He was an excellent athlete throughout his life, as well as an avid fisherman. He especially enjoyed playing tennis with his wife, Sally.
Wally went on to serve with the Wilmington Fire Department for 20 years, retiring in 1977 as Acting Battalion Chief. He was proud to be a WFD firefighter. During that time, he also owned and operated successful businesses. Wally’s resume continued to fill with careers at Wilmington Friends School and St. Andrews School. During his time at St. Andrews, Wally had the pleasure of assisting the cast and crew during the filming of Dead Poets Society. It was certainly a highlight of his life. He even received a “thanks” in the movie credits.
Never one to sit still, even in retirement, he would take up occasional odd jobs such as a flower deliveryman, document messenger, and warehouse manager.
Wally loved to sing his own (usually satiric) words to classic songs to amuse us. He also loved to travel the country with his family. He and Sally were especially close to her sister Katharine and brother-in-law Larry, and the families spent many summers and holidays together.
Wally was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Sarah “Sally” Williams, and his son Timothy. He is survived by his son, Tod, and his daughter, Tracy. He was also the proud grandfather of Haley and Hunter.
We’ll remember him for his sense of humor, turns of phrase, generosity, charm, outstanding work ethic, and fun-loving spirit. If you happen to meet Wally in the afterlife, please tell him “he is a wonderful person.”
A brief interment service will be held on January 12 at 11 AM at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, Delaware.