Joan Elizabeth Walter, 82, of Port Orange, Fla., passed away on May 27, 2015 at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine.
She was born to Ernest H. Bennett and Ethel M. Bennett of Wilton, Conn., and lived there with her sister, Evelyn Bennett (Vast), who predeceased her in 2005, through grade school at the Gilbert and Bennett School in Georgetown, then graduation from Staples High School.
Joan was a descendent of the founding fathers of Wilton and grew up with a hard-work ethic on the Bennett farm. She attended the Congregational Church through young adulthood. This was during a time when Wilton was a rural farm community, not yet a sought-after residential haven.
Her marriage to Anthony J. DePalmer brought her daughter, Michela M. Maloney, into her life. Her second child, Douglas B. Walter was born during her marriage to Donald Jackson. Joan married the love of her life, George F. Walter, who had three children, Thomas Walter, Dana Retherford and Kenneth Walter. Together they forged a family that lasts today. George predeceased Joan in 1989; living far too few years together in Bellport, N.Y.
Joan worked in banking her entire career and rose through the ranks of a then male-dominated industry through dedication, hard work and a quick wit. She became a branch manager in Medford, N.Y., and eventually a commercial lending officer for Barclays Bank in Patchogue, N.Y. She loved what she did and customers loved and respected her in return. After retiring, she eventually sold her home in Bellport and made her primary residence in Port Orange.
Joan’s list of interests would take up more room than is here, those who knew her well, knew that. She could talk to anyone about anything and had a thirst for learning new things that never faded. To say she loved to travel is an understatement. Joan was fortunate enough to be able to visit many countries in Europe, Hong Kong and cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. There was a special place in her heart for Ireland, a destination she visited multiple times. Theater, there are no words to describe her love of Broadway. A tally of the plays she saw, usually with the original cast, is long. She played golf and tennis avidly for many years and was good at both!
Joan was extremely active in the Bellport community. She was a long-term golf commissioner and president of the art association as well as the owner of the Bellport Variety Mart. Joan was a fixture during the Bellport “Artists on the Lane,” sitting behind the registration table and greeting artists with great enthusiasm. She loved Bellport and the Great South Bay, residing there for 37 years. In all things she was classy, funny and smart, a model for many women who crossed her path.
Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Micki Maloney and husband Dennis of Hope, Maine, and her son, Doug Walter and his partner Lesley of Bellport, N.Y.; as well as her step-children, Tom Walter and partner Caitlyn of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Dana Retherford and husband Michael of Plattsburgh, N.Y. and Port Orange, Fla.,; and Ken Walter and his partner Leslie of Patchogue, N.Y. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Doug Walter of East Patchogue, N.Y.; Jenny Vasquez and husband Hector of Merrick, N.Y.; Justin Walter of Baldwin Harbor, N.Y.; and Bryn Retherford of Astoria, N.Y.; and two great-grandchildren, Giovanni and Gianna Vasquez of Merrick, N.Y.
A memorial celebration of her life will be scheduled in Bellport in late summer. Those wishing to honor her memory may consider a donation to their local animal shelter. Please visit her memorial page at longfuneralhomecamden.com to post condolences, memories, comments and photos. You may also offer contact information on the site.