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Walter Walley

Walter (“Wally”) Walley of Ipswich passed away at his home on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at the age of 91.  He led a rich and full life and will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind.  He was the beloved husband of Verda Jane (Ulam) Walley, his darling, beautiful wife of 69 years.  He was born in Niagara Falls, NY, to immigrant parents.  The oldest of six children, he was unable to attend college when his father passed away and he was left to provide for the family.  He made up for his lack of schooled learning with his passion for books and never stopped questing for knowledge.  He was a wise and proud man.

Wally served in the Air Force during World War II as a fighter pilot.  Flying his P-40 Warhawk gave him a love of flying which remained with him throughout his life.  He met his beautiful, red-headed, Verda, in Buffalo, NY, and they were married in 1940.  Wally had many interesting occupations over his lifetime, from hair dresser, to chicken farmer, and many more before settling into a job with the U.S. Department of Defense.  He was on the leading edge of Equal Employment and the Affirmative Action Plan, and traveled the Deep South in the 1960s trying to create equal rights to jobs for African Americans.  He was a skilled negotiator and conferred with the likes of Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr. Upon Wally’s retirement, he and Verda enjoyed traveling and caring for their grandchildren.  In his spare time, he enjoyed photography, music and reading. 

In addition to his wife he is survived by two daughters, Ruth Dennis Edmonds and her husband, Roger  and  Nancy Louise Manning and her husband, Raymond, all of Ipswich;  six grandsons,  David and Dennis Walley of Connecticut, Reginald Edmonds of Ipswich, Grant Edmonds of Illinois, and Mike and Sam Manning of Ipswich, a daughter-in-law Marilyn Taylor and her husband, Kip of N. Stonington, CT, and one brother, Esmit Walley of Pennsylvania. He is also survived by four great grandsons and one great grand-daughter, the wee lass, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Michael J. Walley, a brother and three sisters. Wally’s passing will leave a great void in their lives, and he will be sadly missed.

His funeral service will be held Saturday February 28 at 11 am  in the United Methodist Church of Ipswich, Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich. Family and friends respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours are Friday 4 to 7 pm in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the charity of one’s own choice.

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