Col. Walter Grande
Col. Walter Grande, 87, of Kent Washington passed from this world December 10, 2009 in Scottsdale AZ after a valiant battle with cancer. Born March 20, 1922 in Everett Mass to Donato and Elvira Grande.He attended Everett High School where he met the love of his life and wife of 65 ½ years, Elinore Margaret Schwerdt.After graduating in 1940 he apprenticed at a machine shop until his sense of duty and patriotism compelled him to volunteer for the Army Air Corp and serve during the Second World War. Earning his military pilot’s license, he taught the free French how to fly, and during this time he and Elinore were married. After the war he worked as a journeyman brick layer until he was recalled during the Korean conflict. After Korea the Air Force afforded him the opportunity to earn advanced degrees in Civil Engineering where he specialized in Soil Mechanics. He was responsible for the definition and design of the ground facilities for the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber. He spent 4 years at the Pentagon, taught Civil Engineering at the Air Force Academy, served in Vietnam, was the base Civil Engineering Commander at Vandenburg AFB and Dean of the Civil Engineering College at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Paterson AFB. During his 30 year career he earned many distinguished decorations including in the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit. After retirement he and Elinore pursued their passion in life by traveling this great nation and beyond by motorhome. A natural leader, he held officer positions in many of the organizations to which he belonged. He was an avid amateur radio operator and used the radio to keep in touch with his family and friends. Walter is survived by his wife Elinore, and 4 children Walter Jr, Diane, Cheryl, and Brad, 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.Walter’s love touched everyone he knew. Pilot, Engineer, Missileer, Educator, devoted husband, father, and friend; he was taken too soon and will be missed by everyone who knew him.Internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery.