Walter Joseph Fant, Jr.
Resident of Los Altos
On September 4, 2018, the Blessed Mother Mary took Walter Joseph Fant, Jr., home to meet her Son, Jesus after just 86 years of a great life. Fortunately, or unfortunately, cancer took him quickly and he didn’t get the chance to say good bye to all his good friends, family and grandkids that meant so much to him.
Walter was born May 10, 1932 and raised in Houston Texas. He chose Houston so that, as he used to tell everyone, he could be close to his mother who was also in Houston at that time. He moved to Texarkana, TX in High School and attended junior college and on to Rice University in Houston where he graduated as a Mechanical Engineer. In the summer of 1953, he took a summer job at Boeing in Seattle where he met his future bride and best friend, Geraldine, during a University of Washington get acquainted dance. Returning to Texas, he did graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin. In the summer of 1955, he and Gerry were married in Monroe, Washington and got to spend 63 blessed years together.
Walter started his career at the CalTech Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena CA, where he worked on rocket navigation systems. His first two sons, Joe and Peter, were born in Pasadena prior to moving to Los Altos in 1961 when Walter accepted a job at a pre-Silicon Valley start-up, Palomar Scientific. The remainder of his kids, Carolyn, Sheryl and Tim rounded out the family. Walter started his 30+ year career with IBM in 1963. The Fant Family found a home at St. Simon Church in Los Altos where Walter and Gerry served others through the St. Vincent de Paul society food pantry – including orchestrating the St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Drives since the early 1970’s. He remained active at St. Simon as a lector and Eucharistic minister.
Walter and Gerry raised an active family, exploring the United States in their station wagon and camper. Many great family memories were had in the National Park System. Walt was also an avid sailor, passing along his love for being out on the water. Walter and Gerry remained extremely active and gave back to the community throughout retirement with active participation as an instructor in Computers for Seniors, Ushers at Flint Center, “Hike for Health” as well as being a docent with the Trail Patrol, National Park Service. For many years Walt and Gerry were very active members of the Katydids square dance club and Generic Squares and toured through the state going to square dancing events together. They also took many bicycle touring trips with friends and his sister Patricia throughout the United States and Europe.
Walter and Gerry were blessed with 13 grandchildren, all of whom they took on special trips exploring this beautiful country. Enjoying time with family was very important as he was always one to recognize the best moments of life. His only regret, because of his short illness, was not getting the chance to tell all his grandkids, family and friends how much he loved them and sharing a final joke with them. So go ahead and kid around with each other and remember to appreciate all the good times together, that would make him happy
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8th at St. Simon’s Church, 1860 Grant Rd., Los Altos beginning with a Rosary at 10:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m.