Walter P. Gunn, Jr.
Walter Pontius Gunn, Jr., 95, son of Walter Pontius Gunn and Catherine Downton Gunn passed away peacefully on February 28, 2020 in Longmeadow. Walter was a lifelong resident of Longmeadow, and was born in Springfield on May 26, 1924.
Walter attended Classical High School in Springfield, graduating from Wilbraham Academy in 1941. After being accepted to Brown University his college education was interrupted by the Second World War with his enlistment in the Fall of 1942.
Walter was assigned to the 104th Infantry Division, 414th Infantry Regiment, the “Timberwolves” which landed on the French Coast of Normandy in September of 1944.
Walter saw 195 days of combat action in Belgium, Holland, and Germany; including the liberation of the Nordhausen and Dora-Mittlebau concentration camps. He was discharged from the Army in the Fall of 1945 with the rank of Staff Sergeant having been awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
At the war’s conclusion, Walter returned to Brown University to complete his studies and receive a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He returned to the Pioneer Valley to work in the lumber industry: Forest Products Company and the Garettson-Ellis Lumber Company. He met Margaret Tenney “Peg” and was married in 1959. In 1967 he and his father started the GarelcoSales Company, a lumber wholesaler and wood packaging company located in East Longmeadow.
Walter was a past member of the Colony Club of Springfield and the Longmeadow Country Club. A consummate learner, he embraced the sports of golf, fly fishing (tying his own flies), downhill and cross-country skiing, and sailing. He was passionate about photography, working from the early days of color film photography in the 1930’s to the digital revolution of the 21st century. He enjoyed his time on the shores of Lake Huron, Pointe Aux Barques, Michigan. Since the 1970’s, he was seldom seen without a black Labrador at his side.
He was predeceased by his wife Margaret and his sister Jane Gunn Fox. He is survived by his son, Walter Tenney Gunn and his wife Carla Grifo Gunn of Longmeadow, granddaughter Luisa Leonarda Gunn, his step son Charles W. Carpenter, Jr. of Nicomas, FL, his children Tenney Carpenter Georgetti, her husband David Georgetti of East Granby, CT, Margaret Carpenter Lodigiani, her husband Richie Lodigiani of Wilbraham, MA and children Charlie and Lillian Anita Georgetti, Benjamin and Anna Sophia Lodigiani of Wilbraham.
The family wishes to thank Ruth’s House and JGS Services of Longmeadow for their love, care, and compassion for Walter as he suffered from dementia in his last few years of life.
A memorial service is planned for late Spring. Information will be available at www.TazziniFuneralHome.com. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Jewish Nursing Home, or the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center.