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Walter David Staley

At age 90, Walter David Staley, who grew up in Chicago, IL slipped the surly bonds of earth on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Growing up in Chicago, he parked cars in a garage managed by his father. After high school, he became a Sargent with the Air Force Military Police and once appeared on an Air Force recruiting poster. He was attracted to fast cars, planes and motorcycles. He named his Studebaker “One Red Hot” believed to be the fastest in Southern Maryland. He enjoyed watching boxing matches and had a great fondness for Mickey Mantle.

He left the AF while stationed in Washington, DC. Walter drove a Koester bread truck where he met Jack Lacy, the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Jack introduced Walter to Bob Jameson and they worked and played together throughout much of their adult lives. Early in the 1950’s, Walter bought his first delicatessen in District Heights, MD. In 1954, Walter drove past Hyde field in Clinton, MD and became mesmerized with airplanes. He became hooked on the speed of planes, buying his first plane shortly after. Eventually, Walter, Bob, and Jack became business partners and flying buddies.

They would fly their planes many times to Cuba, California, Las Vegas, Canada, New York, and Florida. Their flying escapades would have you crying from laughter – you quickly understood that someone from above was taking care of them. A favorite expression for Walter after every flight was “we cheated death again.”

Walter could read people like a book, if you were a male of any age, he expected a firm handshake, a firm handshake meant you had character. Heaven help the guy who threw up a “cold fish for a handshake.” Additionally, an important character trait for Walter was honesty, he didn’t believe you could declare your honesty – you show and demonstrate honesty by your actions more than just words.

He’s survived by his wife Susan D. Staley and children (grandchildren): Debbie (Staley) Brock (Cheri Hilty, Kristin Smith); Dale Staley (Johnny, Ryan, Justin, Tony, Kristina), Steven and Terry (Wife) Staley (Brandon, Chad, Courtney, Taylor), and Jeanie Cox (Bill, Shanty, Free). He had many great-grandchildren. Walter was preceded in death by his loving daughter Terri Staley (Michael Calub). Walter was a key figure in Michael’s life, whom is married to Cynthia Calub. Walter was very close with his brother-in-law, Clif Williams and his wife Sharon. All of who loved him dearly and will never forget his firmness, wit, undying love, and care for them.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Calvert Hospice (410 535-0892, www.calverthospice.org) in memory of Walter D. Staley.

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