Title: Army Private, World War II
Birthdate: May 3, 1926
Death Date: December 3, 1969
Plot Location: Section 148, Lot 39
Walter’s father was a veteran of the first World War (buried in this same plot) and has his own “Notables” story that can be found here. Two of his ancestors served in the Revolutionary War, so Walter got the chance to continue that legacy of service, although most of his time in the Army was during peacetime. On his birthday in 1944 he registered with his draft board, and the following month he graduated from South Philadelphia High School.
Walter was working at Snellenburg’s Department Store at 11th and Market Streets when his number came up, but it didn’t happen until April 24, 1945, six days before Hitler’s suicide. He served overseas from October 1945 until March of 1946, but what he did and where he went is unknown.
After 20 months he was discharged, and within the next 18 months, Walter found a bride, Ruth Hall, from his old neighborhood. They moved to the Holmes section of Ridley Township in Delaware County and had a son and two daughters in the 1950s.
Ruth changed her name on her Social Security account to Ruth Porta, having divorced Walter, remarrying, and moving with the children to Altoona. That fits with information from his obituary which says he lived the last five years of his life with his mother at the same home in Grays Ferry where he grew up. It also says he was employed as a night supervisor at Keystone Automobile Club (AAA) in Philadelphia, and was a member of Holmes Fire Co. and the local VFW. He is buried with his parents, next to his mother’s parents and his sister in Section 148, Lot 39.
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