Walton O'Roak

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Walton O'Roak

March 11, 1922 - February 03, 2019

Walton O'Roak Walton O'Roak, 96, of Island Falls died February 3, 2019, at Maine Veteran's Home in Bangor after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was born March 11, 1922 in Sherman Mills, Maine, the son of Burleigh and Mattie (McQuarrie) O'Roak. Walt was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Walt was truly a member of the greatest generation. In 1942, during his second year at Ricker College in Houlton, Walt left school to join the Navy. He proudly served on the USS Baltimore until the conclusion of World War II. The Baltimore and Walt saw action throughout the South Pacific. Walt often referred to his time of service as "the best time of his life" and would proudly tell of providing transport to President Franklin Roosevelt to Pearl Harbor for a historic conference. When he returned home to Sherman, he signed up for the Naval Reserves and was called back to service during the Korean War for an additional year of service to his country.
In 1947, Walt courted and married the love of his life, Gwendolyn Whitehouse. They settled in Island Falls and together they raised four children Jon, Jill, Joleen, and Jeff.
Walt pursued many careers to support his growing family but was best known for his restaurant and as a rural postal carrier. He was an active member of his community serving in many capacities as selectman, school board member, Summerfest organizer, the Masons, Knights of Columbus and most especially as a proud veteran and member of the VFW. He was known as "Mr. VFW" for his many efforts on behalf of all veterans.
Walt had many loves. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing with his sons. Most memorable were trips to Allagash Lake and the "hunting camp". Although it was clear that these were wonderful times, the details were suspiciously absent. He loved making donut runs with Gwen at 2:00 in the morning. He loved his children but he was an especially loving and doting grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather.
Walt is survived by his wife of 71 years, Gwendolyn, his son, Jon and his wife Susan, his daughter, Jill and her husband Wilbur, his daughter, Joleen and her husband Bob and his son, Jeffrey and his partner, Lori. Walt has six grandchildren, Jaime Hersey, Janice Rushton and husband Jerrod, Rob Porter and wife Bev, Erin Bird and husband Michael, Shannon O'Roak and Maureen O'Roak. Walt has seven great-grandchildren, Bryce Porter, Lauren Porter and partner, Dylan, Jayden Rushton, Jordyn Rushton, Liam Bird, Quinn Bird, Keegan Bird and one great-great grandchild, Luca Crawford. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Cheryl Rivard and her husband Norm, many nieces and nephews, friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers and sisters Frederick, Verda, Bill, Pud, Corinne, Dot and Dean.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff at Maine Veteran's Home in Bangor for their kind and dedicated care of Walt during his stay. We have grown especially close to and are grateful to the Angels of Unit B.
Funeral services will be held at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Island Falls on February 8 ,2019. Visiting hours will be at the church from 10-11 am, followed immediately by a Requiem Mass. There will be a time of fellowship at the VFW Hall in Island Falls immediately following the service. A military service will be held graveside in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Local VFW Post 7529, Island Falls, Maine 04747 or Maine Veteran's Home Unit B, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401.

To leave condolences and share memories please visit www.bowersfuneral.com
Published on February 4, 2019
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Feb 04, 2019