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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Rear Commodore Harry Walker
February 28, 1921-October 23, 2008

By Melinda Berge, webmaster
Oct 23, 2008, 18:59

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Thea and Harry Walker

On October 23-2008, the Star Class' Rear Commodore Harry Walker, of Vero Beach, Florida passed away at 87 years of age.

He had been a life member of the class since 1971 and served the class as international secretary for 13 years (1989-2002). He also was awarded the 2001 Harry Nye Trophy which recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the ISCYRA.

Walker earned his silver star winning the 1983 South American Championship sailed in Venezuela. and also competed in 17 World Championships. He was a member of many fleets including Wilmette Harbor (1962-1963), São Paulo (1964-1968) (he lived in Brazil while managing a pulp paper plantation)., Sandpiper Bay (1977-1995) and Biscayne Bay (1976, 1996-2008). In all, he sailed the Star for 71 years which included 33 Bacardi Cups.

Harry Walker with Arthur Anosov at the 2007 New
England Masters Regatta. Photo by Jane Lawrence.
Walker also worked in promoting the Star Class. He was actively involved with the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, USA and instrumental in getting the museum to set up a Star Class exhibit. He generously donated boats to college programs. His boat Bingo VII, #7444, went to the M.I.T. sailing program and Bingo IV, #6567, in which he won his Silver Star, to the Yale sailing program.

He often sailed with Mark Reynolds in the Florida Masters Regatta, and in 2008 they finished 18th overall and Walker won the Exalted Grand Masters Award.

The boats he owned were numbers 4500, 4802, 5640, 6200, 6567, 7137, 7444, and 8000 - all named Bingo.

Walker was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut where his father owned Bridgeport Ice and Coal Company. He graduated from Yale University where he was on the rowing team, and served in the military during World War II. His mother’s family owned Union Camp Paper Company which led to him managing the pulp plantation in Brazil.

He was married to Alethea Kunhardt in 1950 New York City with Prescott S. Bush Jr. (brother of future US President George Herbert Walker Bush) serving as an usher. He is survived by his wife Thea and two sons and a daughter.

Services in Vero Beach will be at 11 am October 28th at the Community Church, 1901 23rd Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. Phone is 772-562-3633.

There will also be a memorial service at the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Wednesday, October 29th at 1 pm. The address is 877 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604. Entombment will be in Mountain Grove Cemetary in Bridgeport.


Obituary from the Treasure Coast Palm newspaper of Florida:

Harry Webster Walker II
Harry Webster Walker II, 87, died Oct. 23, 2008, at his home. He was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and lived in Vero Beach for 38 years, coming from South Port, Conn. He worked for St. Regis Paper Co. for 25 years and was managing director of API, Durban, South Africa, and cofounder and chairman of Sunsweet Fruit Inc. He also was affiliated with Marine Bank and Trust Co., Vero Beach.

He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, leaving as a lieutenant. He graduated from Taft School, Watertown, Conn., in 1940 and received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University, New Haven, Conn., in 1944. He was a 25-year member of Yale Class of '44 Executive Committee, member of the Yale Development Board and a Sterling fellow. He was the recipient of the AYA Citation from Piedmont College, Demorest, Ga., where he graduated with honors in 1989,and a trustee for 18 years and chairman for five years with the Harry W. Walker School of Business named in his honor.

He was active in the Vero Beach community with the Rotary Club, VNA & Hospice House Foundation, YMCA and Community Church.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Alethea Kunhardt of Vero Beach; daughter, Antoinette Camp Walker Hamner; sons, Harry Webster Walker III and Gilford Buchanan Walker; 10 ten grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Alethea Walker Overholser.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Church, 1901 23rd St., Vero Beach, FL 32960.

SERVICES: A service will be 11 a.m. Oct. 28 at Community Church in Vero Beach. Out-of-town arrangements are by Spear-Miller Funeral Home, Fairfield, Conn. Service and entombment will be in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Conn. Local arrangements are by Cox-Gifford-Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. A guest book may be signed at seawindsfh.com/obit.php.

Lou Zagarino and Harry Walker

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