William C. Walter

William C. Walter

May 13, 1935 - December 02, 2015

William C. Walter

May 13, 1935 - December 02, 2015


William (Bill) C Walter, May 13,1935 to December 2, 2015 was born in Buffalo, NY the only child of Mildred and William Walter, Sr. Bill died peacefully in Mission Viejo, CA hospice surrounded by his wife, friends and relatives after seven months of various ailments reducing his physical and mental abilities.

Bill had a passion for cycling. He started riding a bicycle at an early age when he had a paper route. While attending Kensington High School, Bill at age 16 won his first significant bike race, Elgin to Chicago 50-mile Road Classic. From 1951 to 1990, Bill won approximately 300 trophies and assorted medals as an amateur semi-pro bicycle racer, training and racing on road, criterium circuits and velodrome tracks throughout USA and Canada. In later years he trained both old and young athletes. In 1990 he became US National Champion in the Men 55-59 Sprint, San Diego, CA. Because of her cycling accomplishments and connections, he was especially proud of his daughter Kathleen (Kathy) Gilchrist, now of Peebles, Scotland. She is presently a Scottish Cycling Board member, Cycling Commissaire; Kathy had a major impact on collegiate cycling and more in the US, before moving to Scotland and marrying Alexander (Sandy) Gilchrist, a cycling team manager and mechanic on an international level.

Bill started his mechanical engineering career/education at Purdue University and completed his BSME degree in 1968 at the University of Buffalo, while raising a family with his first wife Paula and continuing his cycling. An early job as a technician for building and launching rockets, contributed to major US aviation and space accomplishments (the same model rocket he worked on is in the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park). His lifelong learning, studying, passing exams included earning PE licenses in New York, Pennsylvania and California and maintaining his ASME credentials. His experience covered many aspects of engineering including: geodesic domes engineering; vessel engineering of bulk storage tanks with Fluor and Jacobs engineering/construction companies; engineering the tallest tower at the Carson refineries, a C-3 splitter; earthquake inspections of homes after the Northridge, CA earthquake; development of technology (patent pending) to freeze with liquid nitrogen and thaw blood; and obtaining a patent in the absorptive process for selective separation of gases. His career spanned New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.

Bill had a variety of interests and learning activities including studying to teach cross country skiing, making wine, bare foot cruising to the Caribbean, and always enjoying any travels organized by Judy. Bill had a natural talent for music and singing without any formal training; he participated in barber shop quartets and church choirs throughout his life.

Bill moved to California in 1987; he married Judy Jones in 1996 and has lived in San Clemente since that time. Judy’s family has become his and he was a much loved Uncle Bill to three boys (Glenn, Andy and Steve, sons of Jennie and Jeff Micko) as well as participant in many other activities in California and Wisconsin with Judy’s relatives. As a husband, he was a partner, friend and supporter of Judy’s career and activism. Bill was preceded in death by his first wife Paula and their son Richard. His surviving family members are daughters Kathleen (Alexander) Gilchrist & Mary (Deno) Sfikas, and wife Judith Jones.

Bill trained hard, cycled with a strong competitive spirit, enjoyed the comradery after athletic events, worked hard, knew how to fix things around the house, and was quick to celebrate by raising a toast. A favorite saying when friends were gathered was, “I love life!”

Memorial celebration will be held in second half of January to ensure participation of Bill’s daughter Kathy and son-in-law Sandy.

Contributions in Lieu of Flowers:

29042 Ridgeview Dr
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Multiple projects of Jeanine Schrantz, friend of Bill, in Malawi, including this pre-school, student study center, and women’s cooperative all in one where the whole village participated including firing 80,000 bricks, using local red soil and providing construction labor. Jeanine purchased materials other than bricks. The school is now self-sustaining with fees paid by parents. (401c, tax deductible, note in memory of Bill Walter, check payable to WE CAAN).

Valley Preferred Cycling Center
(send checks to Judy Jones or Andy Taus made payable to above name)
A possibility is Sponsor-a-Meter puts a name on a meter for $200 and contributions go towards a scholarship fund that is given to local riders who qualified for Junior World Championships. Other contributions to this Cycling Center in Trexler Town (next to Allentown) PA may also be considered.

Please see the photo album of Contributions In Lieu of Flowers.

Celebration of the Life of Bill Walter
Memorial Celebration will be held
Saturday January 23, 2016
11 am to 2 pm

RSVP to judyjones414@gmail
for address and directions

No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Gallery Photos

No Videos

5 responses to William C. Walter

  1. Sue Mitchell says:

    Bill, along with Judy, came to our house in Wisconsin one October. I made fun of him because he packed snow boots with a bottle of his favorite California wine in each one in his suitcase. I assured him there wasn’t any way there would be snow while he was visiting. It suddenly turned cold, snowed and I had to toast to his great idea to boots!

    While Keith and I were visiting Bill and Judy in San Clemente, Keith decided to make two apple pies, one to eat and the other to freeze. Keith, being the flamboyant cook that he was, had flour in every nook and cranny of their kitchen. Bill swore that he was still finding flour Keith had left behind when they remodeled their kitchen years later.

  2. Lyn Corder says:

    It was Reunion Weekend at Ripon College; I was walking across campus and saw a man trying to get into the administration building, where there were exhibits set up for visiting alumni. For some reason the door was locked, so I walked up and introduced myself and said I worked in that building and had a key, but only to the back door. He waited while I went in the back and opened the front door. We started chatting. I learned that his wife, Judy, was a Ripon graduate and he had gone to the University at Buffalo, where I had worked for 11 1/2 years, before moving to Wisconsin. Then Judy called to him that they would be late for a concert and they left. I went to the same concert – and saw and talked with both of them for a short time afterwards. I enjoyed meeting them so much that I wrote a note, and the next time I went to California we made arrangements to get together. Later, I retired to the San Diego area and we met for a meal, or a talk or to work on Judy’s campaign, drinks and more meals. We discovered that Judy’s Master’s degree was from the University of Chicago, Al’s alma mater. With these connections, we had a basis for friendship that has lasted. I am so happy that Bill was curious to learn more about Ripon and that I was able to open that door and have a conversation with a stranger who, along with Judy, became a friend.

  3. Georgette says:

    Historical Society’s New Year’s Even Under the Dome, 2009

  4. Judy invited Cris and I to the Swallows Day Parade where we first met Bill. The first of many fun occasions when Bill always shared his special “grape juice.”

  5. Happy New Year and wishing everyone health and happiness for 2017 ! Gram, Bill’s mom -Mildred lived with us when we were growing up. One of our New Year’s traditions was to open both the back door and the front door at midnight letting the old year out and the New year in ! Just so the whole neighborhood knew it was New Years, Gram would get out Grandpa’s bugle ( from their marching band days ) and we’d give a couple good blows out the front door to welcome in the New Year – a tradition I still do with my four children, Bill’ grandchildren, Despina (25), Kosta (21) and the twins Zoe and Dimitri (17)

    From Mary Walter Sfikas

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle