Walter A. Truxler

Walter A. Truxler

June 23, 1921 - December 25, 2017

Walter A. Truxler

June 23, 1921 - December 25, 2017


Commander Walter A. Truxler, USN (Ret.) died on December 25, 2017 in Mission Viejo, He was 96 years old. Walter was born on June 23, 1921 in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, the son of George and Margaret Truxler. He later moved to San Pedro, California, where his interest in a naval career began. He entered the Naval Academy from enlisted service in July 1940 as a member of the class of 1944, which was accelerated to graduate in June 1943.

After graduation, Walter married Mary Grace Wilvers, the “love of his life,” and after a brief honeymoon, reported to the USS Indiana, where he served for the remainder of World War II, operating with Task Forces 38 and 58. At the end of the war, he reported to flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in February 1947.

After receiving his wings, he flew PB4Y-2 Privateers in several squadrons, including a tour in Corpus Christi as a flight instructor, then to a transport squadron flying R5D’s and R7V’s. In 1955, Walter returned to the Naval Academy to teach navigation. His next assignment in 1958 was back to the Pacific to fly WV-2 aircraft from Midway Island to Adak, patrolling the seaward extension of the Distant Early Warning Line against possible Soviet incursion. In 1961, he reported to the Pacific Missile Range as Staff Planning Officer, flying WV-2 Aircraft in support of Missile Operations. His final Navy tour was as the Defense Department Plant Representative at Litton Industries, retiring February 1, 1969.

After retirement from the Navy in February 1969, he was hired by McDonnell Douglas as a Subcontract Specialist, was promoted shortly thereafter to Purchasing Agent, and then to Purchasing Manager. His responsibilities included negotiating major subcontracts and managing Purchasing Agents and Buyers who procured mechanical hardware and major systems for the DC10, DC9, MD80 and MD90 aircraft. In June 1984, he retired from McDonnell Douglas, after a very satisfactory and rewarding second career.

“Complete” retirement provided Walter the opportunity to work around the house and yard, play golf, volunteer and travel, which he and Mary Grace did in abundance. He remained active in his church, functioning as an usher and as a Eucharistic Minister.

Walter was preceded in death by his youngest daughter, Nancy Clair Truxler; his oldest daughter, Dr. Patricia Truxler Coleman; his great-grandchild, Luke Gabriel Truxler; and by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary Grace. He is survived by his three children, Joseph Adrian Truxler, John Thomas Truxler and Susan Elizabeth Truxler Baker; nine grandchildren and 20-21 great-grandchildren.

Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated for Walter on January 26, 2018 at St. Kilian Catholic Church in Mission Viejo, California. His ashes were encrypted at Ascension Cemetery beside his loving wife, Mary Grace.

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1 responses to Walter A. Truxler

  1. Suzy says:

    For the last year or so, every day, Dad and I would go out for a drive. It gave us the opportunity for simply getting out of the house, for a change of view and also, the opportunity for an uninterrupted conversation and sometimes just comfortable silence.

    For the most part, Dad’s mind worked much better than one would expect of a 96-year-old man. One day, on our drive, however, Dad said to me, “Suzy, you’ve never told me about your father.” After reminding Dad that he WAS my father, it got me to thinking that this is what I would like to tell him and everyone else about who my father was:

    God, family and country “-these three things defined him, gave him life, gave him joy and made him proud.

    There was not a day that went by that Dad did not say, “God has been so very good to me.” Dad loved and served at our church. He was an usher and a Eucharistic minister for over 40 years. When Dad finally quit being a Eucharistic minister, it was because he was afraid he’d fall. He wasn’t afraid of getting hurt, but he was afraid of spilling the precious blood of Jesus. This is the kind of Catholic he was.

    Dad was very faithful in his giving, Not only to the church, but to many other organizations and charities and individuals. One day, I was listening to a Christian song called, “Thank you, For Giving to the Lord.” This song is about the unknown lives that had been changed because of one man’s charitable donations. It is a beautiful song and a very touching video. I played it for Dad and told him that I thought that that song it epitomized him and should be played at his funeral. He immediately said, “No! Absolutely not. My funeral is not to be about me. It’s to be about God.” This is the kind of humble man of God that Dad was.

    Every year, on the Sunday closest Valentine’s Day, our priest would ask all the married people to stand. And then, systematically, the priest will say “If you’ve been married over five years, remain standing.” The priest then makes the same statement for those married over 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, etc. Finally the priest said to the few people standing, “If you’ve been married over 70 years remain standing.” My dad, who has been a widow for over 12 years, remained standing. Being widowed did not stop him from being married. This is the kind of devoted husband he was.

    My fondest childhood memories of my Dad are of him pointing out and teaching me the astronomical constellations. He taught me about how the stars were used for navigation. He taught me the stories of mythology that were intertwined with the stars, but most importantly he taught me the vastness and wonder of God’s universe. My favorite constellation has always been the constellation of Orion the Great Hunter. I remember being six or seven years old and telling Dad that “The middle star in the belt of Orion will always be my wishing star and my Daddy star.” To this day, when I see Orion in the nighttime sky, I remember my Dad’s teachings. He not only was teaching me the constellations and how the stars used to be used for navigation and stories of mythology, but most importantly, he was teaching me to look to the heavens when life seems darkest. Years before Dad’s death, he prepared a list of things that needed to be done at the time of his death. He listed each place that needed to be contacted, their phone number, their fax number, their address, his account number, a contact name, if applicable, and his username and password, if applicable. He made final arrangements and prepaid for everything at the mortuary and cemetery. . He wrote his own obituary that we updated every year changing the number of great grandchildren he had as they came along. He didn’t want to leave anyone out. Most importantly, he wanted to make it easy for his children to take care of his final needs at a time that he knew would be very hard for us. That’s the kind of Dad he was.

    Dad had 9 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. One great grandchild, Luke Gabriel, didn’t survive birth. Dad fully understood the pain and heartbreak that his loss brought to his parents, as Dad and Mom, too, had a child who didn’t survive birth. Dad got to meet and hold every great grandchild, with the exception of the last two who were both born within a month prior to his death. Most of Dad’s great grandchildren are old enough to be able to remember him. Those who are not old enough to remember him will know him through the pictures and the stories of their parents and grandparents. Dad loved each and every one of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Most of the grandchildren who lived far away came out at least once or twice a year so that their children would get to know their great grandfather. Dad regaled them with stories of his youth, his Navy days, his stories of “The Greatest Generation,” and of how you “really had to be there to understand the bombing of Hiroshima.” But most importantly, he wanted to impart to them the importance of faith, love and family. That’s the kind of grandpa and great grandpa he was.

    Dad entered the Navy at the age of 17, right before the outbreak of World War II. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944. During World War II, the naval academy accelerated their academic program to get more officers out into the theater of operations. Dad, and all the other midshipmen at that time, completed four years of work in three years. After graduation and marrying our mom, Dad went on to flight school. He spent his military career as a naval pilot. Dad was not only proud to serve his country, he was honored. Arthur Ashe once said, ” True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever the cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.” That’s the kind of American he was. That’s the kind of hero he was.

    Dad always knew that his greatest day was yet to come, because as Paul in Philippians says, “To live is Christ and to die is to gain.” So, Dad always lived for Christ and fully understood that his greatest gain was going to be at the moment of his death, at which point I am quite sure he heard these words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Congratulations Dad, on your final and greatest promotion.

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