Title: Navy Quartermaster 1st Class, Vietnam War
Birthdate: January 15, 1936
Death Date: May 26, 1969
Plot Location: Section C, Range 6, Lot 10, northwest part

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Walter started life in Jackson, Mississippi as Walter Stanley Cummings but, due to some undocumented family circumstances, he and his sister, Edith, were adopted by John and Amanda Forbes. He was four years old and she had just celebrated her first birthday. 

The Forbes raised their children in the southern part of the state in a town called Columbia. There they were brought up to worship, pray, and love God as members of First Baptist Church. John was a foreman in the Highway Department and Amanda taught in the public schools.

Both Walter and Edith attended this modern, well-equipped public high school which was exclusively for the education of those whose skin was a certain color. Walter graduated in the Class of 1955, then commuted to the adjacent county for a year to attend Pearl River Junior College. 

He decided on a career in the Navy in 1956, reenlisting in 1960 and again in 1964. His rank was Quartermaster 1st Class, and was apparently stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard toward the end of his hitch. 

That’s where he married a Philly girl named Dolores in July of 1967. They lived on League Street in what is now known as the Little Saigon neighborhood. Their daughter, Pamela, was born in June of 1968 and he left the Navy that November.

Conditions at certain military installations have sometimes been associated with adverse health conditions. Whether that was true in Walter’s case is unknown but after he left the Navy he had developed some serious health issues. He checked into the VA Hospital in Philadelphia the following April and he was found to have acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Death came quickly a month later.

Delores ordered this military headstone for her husband and a military ceremony was conducted by his grave in Section C.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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