W alter Doll Jr., son of the late Walter Doll Sr. and Eva Doll died on June 29, 2012 at Westerly Hospital in Westerly, RI. He made his home in Central Beach, Quonochontaug, RI.
Walt was born at the home of his legendary grandfather, Everett Barns, in Westerly, RI.
He was raised in Granville, where his drive for academic achievement was first realized. He graduated as Valedictorian of his class at the age of 15. Too young to begin college, he chose to continue at Granville High School for two more years to take all the remaining courses offered by the high school.
He did his undergraduate work in engineering at The University of Rhode Island where he earned academic honors. It was at URI that he met the love of his life Mary Jo Conrad, of North Stonington, Conn,. They wed in 1939 and remained married for 63 years until Mary’s death in 2002.
Walt was hired by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft right out of college in 1938 where he joined the Engineering Department. Soon after, P&W sent him to Boston to do graduate work at MIT and Harvard. He earned a Master’s degree from Harvard in Engineering. Returning to Pratt & Whitney, his goal became to earn the position of Chief of Engineering, which he did. His accomplishments as an aviation pioneer were significant and many, helping the company progress from rotary piston engines to the jet engines used on current commercial aircraft to rockets for NASA. His expertise and management style also led him to represent the company in numerous national and international conferences.
Walt and Mary moved to Manchester, Conn. upon completion of his graduate studies. There they raised their six children, Jeffery, David and Daniel (twins), Andrew, Linda, and Mary Ellen.
He was an innovative Cub Scoutmaster at Highland Park School while his four sons were young. As his family grew he served on the Manchester, Conn., Board of Education, elected in 1969 and a year later he became elected Board Chairman. In 1970 he was also elected to the Republican Town Committee for Manchester.
Walt was an enthusiastic and eclectic reader, crossword puzzle master, and gardener. In his retirement he also became an active tennis player and played until he was 90. He was the family genealogist, chronicling his lively family stories of Mayflower and American Revolution ancestors in a book for his descendants. He was a member and instructor of navigation in the Power Squadron, treasurer of the Central Beach Tennis Club and as state treasurer of the King’s Daughters he helped grow their scholarship funds.
Walt is survived by six children, eight grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
The children are Jeffrey and his wife Dale of Manchester, CT; David and his wife Jill of Woodland Park, CO; Daniel and his wife Dorothy of Hebron, CT; Andrew and his wife Daria of Coventry, CT; Linda Cluxton and her husband Erich of Asheville, NC; and Mary Ellen Casey and her husband John of Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
His grandchildren are Michelle Doll of Aurora,CO; Amy Hartman and her husband Phil of Cheshire, CT; Scott Doll of Manchester, CT; Elizabeth Doll of Manchester, CT; Eva Doll of Houston, TX; Walter J. Doll of East Hartford, CT; Hadley Cluxton of Marshall, NC; Reed Cluxton and his wife Rosaura of Asheville, NC and Declan and Sarah Casey of Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
His great grandchildren are Dustin Doll of Aurora, CO; Felicia Hartman, Kira Hartman, and Vanessa Hartman of Cheshire, CT; Justus Joy, Josiah Joy and Jonah Joy of Manchester, CT; Eva Cluxton, Lydia Cluxton and John Cluxton of Asheville, NC.; and Andrew Doll of Houston TX.
His great-great grandson is Xander Doll of Aurora, CO.
A visiting hour was held on Friday, July 6th, from 11am-12pm in Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly, RI, followed by a funeral serviceat 12pm noon in the funeral home. Burial took place in River Bend Cemetery, Westerly. For online condolences, please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com