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Walter J. Quackenbush

Obituary for Walter J. Quackenbush

May 28, 1943 - April 7, 2020
Rockland, Massachusetts | Age 76


Walter James Quackenbush Jr., age 76, of Rockland died on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at the VA Hospital in West Roxbury, MA due to complications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). After a recent hospitalization, Walter had been residing in a local nursing facility for the past six-weeks prior to the sudden onset of Coronavirus. Wally was surrounded by his entire VA medical team at his time of death. The VA physicians, nurses, and staff provided outstanding care placing themselves at risk during this awful pandemic. His nurse was so selfless and made it possible for his family to say their good-byes. Wally was truly not alone throughout his life and in his final hours. He always held the West Roxbury VA Hospital in highest regard and could not have been in better care. The family is so grateful to all the Veterans Administration staff during this difficult time.

Mr. Quackenbush was born at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Chelsea, MA, in 1943, living in Boston before his family settled in Rockland in 1951 where he grew up. He was known to all as Wally, The Major, and to some as Skip (his childhood nickname). Wally attended Rockland Schools before being accepted into the Boston Trade School where he graduated in 1963 as a multi-disciplined tradesman.
Shortly after graduation, Mr. Quackenbush enlisted with his best friend, Richard (Rudy) Rudolph, into the Navy joining his shipmates in the Vietnam War, in Danang for four years. He served his country faithfully in the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four (SeaBees) for four years in Vietnam and Battalion Forty in California until he was honorably discharged in 1975 attaining the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class. Mr. Quackenbush resided in California with his former wife Mrs. Chris Quackenbush. Wally returned to his hometown of Rockland in 1976 where he remained until his untimely passing. He traveled the world during his military service and resided in his childhood home for the past twenty years living with his niece and caregiver, Beth Ann (Quackenbush) DeFilippo, her husband, and their two children.

Mr. Quackenbush was a decorated US Navy Veteran, Past Commander and Life Member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 50, member of U.S. Veterans (USV) Vietnam Era Post 2 SSG Richard A. Fitts Chapter serving on the parade color guard and most recently as Chaplain, Life Member of Abington VFW Post 5737, member of Abington American Legion Lewis V. Dorsey Post 112, Past Golden Rodent and Sector Leader of the National Order of Trench Rats (N.O.T.R.) Dugout 622, longtime volunteer VAVS at VA Medical Centers Boston and Brockton, and past member Rockland Eagles (F.O.E) Arie #841. He donated his time volunteering throughout the South Shore helping fellow veterans and seniors.
Mr. Quackenbush was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed cheering on his favorite teams, the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. He enjoyed the company of Poppy and Mollie, the family furbabies. Loved watching Family Feud and the Phantom Gourmet while sneaking snacks when nobody was looking. He always enjoyed socializing and was able to while stayingS sober for the past 25-years. Wally is remembered by all that know him as a kind, caring, humorous, and generous man. He would always try to help and put others needs ahead of his own.

Wally was predeceased by Walter James Quackenbush (father) and Martha Quackenbush (stepmother) of Colorado, Gladys (Beil) Quackenbush (mother) and Douglas Potter (stepfather) of Rockland, Russell Louis Quackenbush (brother) of Rockland, and longtime companion Norma Pitts. He is survived by his sister, Joanne Quackenbush Quinn of Brewster, MA, sister-in-law, Martha (Card) Quackenbush, niece and caregiver, Beth (Quackenbush) DeFilippo and her husband Christopher DeFilippo, their children Esabella and Anthony, nephew, William James Quackenbush, his wife Lisa (Moon) and their children Alex, Jadzia, and Conor, all of Rockland, MA, nephew Russell D. Quackenbush and his son Skye of Long Beach, California. Mr. Quackenbush is also survived by his companion, Frieda Simmons of Holbrook, MA, childhood best friend, Richard Rudolph of Abington, his mentor Morton Morin of Taunton, and many many friends and comrades-in-arms.

Due to COVID-19, burial will be private at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Abington, MA and will be handled by Magoun Biggins Funeral Home. A funeral service with full military honors will be held at a later date when allowed.

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Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home

135 Union Street
Rockland, MA 02370
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