Walter B. Preston

  • Born: July 17, 1926
  • Died: August 30, 2020
  • Location: Prospect Park, Pennsylvania

Cavanagh Family Funeral Home

301 Chester Pike
Norwood, PA 19074

Tel. (610) 532-3120

Tribute & Message From The Family


Walter (Walt) B. Preston, 94, died on August 30, 2020. He was the beloved husband of Joan (nee Frederickson) and devoted father of Monica (Robert) Jeral (d.), Robert (Joanne), Stephen (Helene), and Stacy (Edwin) Collins, 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, Clifford and Florence (Killen) Preston, and his brothers, David and Leonard Preston.
His entire family loved him dearly. He will be remembered for his optimistic outlook on life, his generosity, his ability to solve almost any problem, and his sense of humor.
Walt enlisted in the US Navy in July 1944. He was sent to the Pacific Theater where he spent the bulk of his three-year enrollment. He earned six service medals.
Walt and Joan started dating 73 years ago, a week after Walt was honorably discharged from the Navy. They were married in April 1951. They lived in Prospect Park for most of their married life. They adored spending their retirement years together.
Walt worked for over 40 years at the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central and Conrail, retiring as an Accounting Manager in 1988. For much of that time, Walt worked one or even two extra jobs to support his family.
After retirement, Walt worked in various volunteer positions at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Norwood, PA for many years. He was a Eucharistic Minister. For ten years, as part of his duties, he often visited residents at the Prospect Park Nursing Home. He was also on the church's Bereavement Committee. He made many friends through his volunteer work.
Walt was a lifelong fan of the Phillies and loved the Eagles as well. He had many hobbies. Walt was a great dancer. He adored playing cards with family. He delighted in working in his garden. He enjoyed Saturday yard sales, and finding treasures and gag gifts for his family. Walt was known for making beautiful dollhouses. He loved to travel with his family around the United States and Europe.
A viewing will be held at Saint Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church in Norwood, PA on Saturday, September 5 at 10a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 11a.m. Interment will follow at SS Peter & Paul Cemetery in Springfield, PA. There will be a livestream of the viewing, mass & interment at https://www.facebook.com/cavanaghfuneralcrematory/. A Face Book Page Account is not required to access livestream. Online condolences can be left at the guest book at www.cavanaghfuneralhome.com. Due to COVID, there will be no luncheon. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Gabriel Church in Walter's name. Due to current guidelines, facial masks and social distancing are required


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

It is difficult to fathom that 6 weeks ago on August 1, Dad and Mom were having an uneventful Saturday together, blissfully unaware that 4 weeks later would be Dad's last full day with us and that family and friends would be together, virtually or in person, last Saturday to say goodbye to him. We have been so gratified by the memories that you have been shared with us of Dad. We also know how much affection that Dad had for each of you, wishing only over the last few years that he was physically able to interact on a more regular basis after spending a lifetime being so active. We were the recipient of Dad's kindnesses expressed in so many different ways. He lived a good, long, gracious, fun loving and holy life which Mom and our family never hoped would end until it suddenly did. Those we love remain in our hearts forever and Dad will always have a prominent place within it. We thank those of you who have been there for us during this difficult time of loss and for which we are eternally grateful.

Posted by Bob Preston - Chester & North Cape May, PA - Son   September 12, 2020

I have read these wonderful notes to my Mom, who loved them. I've also read them to myself several times now. They are all a source of comfort. Thank you to everyone who left thoughtful comments about Dad. He was an amazing guy, and I'm glad so many others share that opinion.

Posted by Stacy Preston Collins - Valley Forge, PA - Daughter   September 10, 2020

Joan, Bob, Stacy & I want to thank all those that came out on Saturday to celebrate dad's life, despite Covid, and to thank those that watched the funeral on the web. We want to also thank Father Large for officiating dad's funeral.
My father was a wonderful man; he loved the Phillies, dancing, playing cards, garage sales, being "Secret Santa", and making dollhouses. He had a crazy, high sugar diet of sweets, milk, hot dogs and spaghetti, which somehow allowed him to live a super long life.
Dad had a great sarcastic wit, loved winning, hated losing, was super frugal but extremely generous. He was the most positive person I ever met, always smiling, never complained, and his "what the hell" expression was known by everyone he knew. He refused to use a walker or cane, not wanting to appear too old!
Dad had a circle of friends & neighbors he cared deeply about; his most happy times were anytime he was with family; his only sad moment was losing his daughter Monica too soon. His greatest love was his Joanie whom he worshiped, was her rock and were inseparable together.
Dad was a devout Christian and proud to be Catholic, who lived his faith every day. He went to daily mass with Joan; volunteered as Eucharistic Minister; regularly went to a nursing home to visit the sick & dying; and was on the church Bereavement Committee to comfort those that lost loved ones.
Not that long ago, dad told me he didn't want us to grieve for him when he left the earth, but rather to remember our great times with him. While we're saddened to lose dad - he is irreplaceable - we thank God to have had such a great man in our lives for so long, and we take comfort to know that he is finally at peace & rest with Monica in heaven.

Posted by Steve Preston - West Chester, PA - Son   September 08, 2020

Uncle Walt and Aunt Joan were 2 people who you could always count on to have a smile on their faces and warmth in their hearts. Please give Aunt Joan our condolences. Mike & Maureen Ostien

Posted by Michael Ostien - JOHNS CREEK, GA - Family Friend   September 06, 2020

The mass was beautiful and the graveside dedication was very moving. It was wonderful to hear taps and have his Navy service represented. Thank you for making this available for us far away to be a part of this special day.

Posted by Susan Conrad - FL - Family   September 05, 2020

Very sorry for your loss.

Posted by Elaine Coughlan - Wilmington, DE - Family Friend   September 05, 2020

We want to express our sincerest sympathy to Joan, Bob, Steve and Stacy. Walt was such a kind gentle soul. His Faith was a model for all of us to follow. He left a wonderful legacy with his Children. Our prayers for you. All our Love, Bonnie and Andy Keller

Posted by Andy Keller Keller - Secane, PA - Friend   September 05, 2020

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the family. My memories of my Uncle Walt are far too many to share. He was a wonderful man & I miss him. Love & peace.

Posted by Judy Preston - DeLand, FL - Family   September 05, 2020

Dear Joan , Steve , Bob and Stacie ,
Anita and I are so sorry For your loss . We feel blessed to have known Walt , with his ever present smile , kindness and especially his quick wit ! He lived and lived well . We will miss him deeply !

Love always ,
Joe and Anita

Posted by Joe coyle - Family   September 05, 2020

My heart is so sad over the loss of this amazing man.I am sending hugs , love and prayers to beautiful Joan and the family. I will miss our Sunday visits at their home when they couldn't come to Mass. Heaven is certainly brighter and a light has dimmed with us. God bless

Posted by Judy Williams - Norwood, PA - Friend   September 05, 2020

I knowUncle Walt received a great welcome from his brothersmy Dad, Leonard and Uncle Dave. There are so many memories from childhood like the family Easter egg hunts and more recently celebrating the Phillies spring training with a great meal together. Surround yourselves with the best memories.

Posted by Susan Conrad - Holiday, FL - Family   September 05, 2020

After 94 trips around the sun, Gramps took his trip to heaven this weekend. He survived WWII, sepsis, brain bleeds, and having to live 90 years before he got to see the Eagles win a Super Bowl (although the Phillies' World Series probably meant more). He's the Mr. Troublesome to my Trouble, my chosen grandchild pet name, and as it's also a nickname I have at work, I'll think of Gramps fondly whenever this happens. He ate whatever the heck he wanted- I'll never forget on a Florida vacation where he had a massive lunch and then our hotel's pool had free ice cream sundaes and he made a HUGE one and ate it all. My strawberry milkshake last night is for you. The Skype pic is when he had his COVID 94th bday zoom last month, where he got emotional at technology's ability to connect him with all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and also said, 94- what the hell? Love you, Gramps, keep heaven just a little bit trouble for me.

Posted by Michelle Preston - Wayne, PA - Grandchild   September 04, 2020

Candle

Rest in Peace, Walter Preston (Gramps)
1926-2020 (Age 94)
Married over 65 years with 4 children, a boatload of grandchildren like me, and even a few great-grandchildren.
Proudly defended us in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Always smiling, always positive.
Huge Philadelphia sports fan - Phillies, Eagles, Flyers. I have great memories of going to Phillies games together. He even lived long enough to finally see the Eagles win the Superbowl for the first time in 2018.
Loved pasta with meat sauce, hot dogs, sausage, and a nice glass of milk. Not exactly what many would say is a healthy diet, but it didn't stop him from living into his mid-90's!
The annual White Elephant "gag gift" Christmas parties I host were inspired by him.
He LOVED garage sales. It was always so much fun going into his basement and rummaging through boxes of old CD's, movies, and video games, which he so graciously offered to all of his kids and grandkids.
I remember how sharp he still was in his 80's when me, my Dad, Bob, and him played card games like hearts when he visited us in Florida.
The whole family got together to wish him a happy 94th birthday, which was the last day I spoke with him while he was awake.
The last Preston family wedding he attended was my own on October 7, 2018, the day his picture here was taken.
We'll always love you, and never forget you, Gramps.
Love Tim Preston, Your Grandson

Posted by Timothy Preston - SANFORD, FL - Grandchild   September 04, 2020

Our Prayers and Love go out to all of you, Aunt Joan, Bobby, Stephen and Stacie. You are all blessed to have have had such a wonderful lifetime of memories to fill your hearts as cope with the loss of my dear Uncle Walt. i am proud to have followed in his footsteps with my Naval Service, and now salute him to honor his service to our Nation, and for his deep love and commitment to his family. I remember well that last bear hug he gave me and his kind words about my career. Always smiling, always kind. I fondly remember our extended Preston family outings, back yard cook outs, with Uncle Walt cooking up burgers and dogs on the grill and all of us children running around. Love to you all.

Posted by Jim & Janet Preston - Davidsonville, MD - Family   September 04, 2020

Joan, my heart aches for you. You and Walt were truly two halves of one whole. I know Walt has flown straight to heaven so my prayers are for you and asking the Lord to make the road ahead as easy as possible for you. Much Love, Kate Kleinert

Posted by Kate Kleinert - GLENOLDEN, PA - Friend   September 03, 2020

Dearest Joan, Bobby, Stephen and Stacie, one of my greatest memories of all of us together including Joe, was in Hawaii for several weeks with Tim when he was a toddler. Other favorite things we did together were to visit regligious churches and sites with you and even having all with my husband at his diaconate ordination were remarkable. Walt was a special man and a wonderful in-law. Love to all! Helen

Posted by Helen Coyle - Family   September 03, 2020

Dear Mrs. Preston and family. I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Preston's passing. I went to Notre Dame with Monica and literally ran into her when we served in the US Air Force.

Posted by Mary Battle - Lansdowne, PA - Classmate   September 03, 2020

My deepest sympathy to the Preston Family for the loss of your loved one, Walter, "Walt", and pray God gives you comfort, peace and strength.

Posted by JW/JKH    September 03, 2020

We are so sorry about the loss of Uncle Walt. He had a great life though, which is a comfort to know. He will be deeply missed. The Phillies are playing Washington on the TV as I write this and I believe Uncle Walt is watching it too! Prayers and love to the family. May God comfort you in your sorrow.

Posted by Cliff and Debi Preston - Edgewater, FL - Family   September 03, 2020

Dear Bob,Joanne, and girls, we were sorry to hear about your dad, I heard many stories from Joanne about her yard sales with Mr Preston, he sounded like a wonderful person, lots of love and prayer, Love Janice and Monk

Posted by Janice Montgomery - Thornton, PA - Friend   September 03, 2020

Dear Mrs. Preston and Family, sorry for your loss. May you find great comfort in memories of your beloved husband, father and granddad. I went to High School with Monica and we connected again when she retired to the Delaware County area, as did my husband and I. We all shared a history with the AF. I remember yourself and Mr. Preston as sweethearts. Take CareJoan (Goumas)Burgess

Posted by Joan Burgess - PA - Friend   September 03, 2020

Bobby, Stephen, Stacy, and Monica's family, My sincerest condolences as your father leaves this home and starts his new life in Heaven. I have the warmest memories of your parents. I cannot think of one without the other. May God be with you during this difficult time.

Posted by Mary Ann Corbett - Norwood, PA - Family Friend   September 03, 2020

Dear Mrs. Preston, I am sorry to hear about Mr. Preston. Mrs. Preston, you were my first stop after my mother passed. You and Mr. Preston were so kind. Your house felt like a safe spot to sit and gather myself. In the 1960's, when I stopped by your house to walk to St. Gabe's with Monica, and play with baby Stacy, well, they are happy memories. I loved seeing you at Mass after my return to Delco, seeing your smiles and getting your hugs. Mrs. Preston, you are in my prayers. May Mr. Preston be dancing with Monica and be at peace in his heavenly home.

Posted by Mary Ann Corbett - Norwood, PA - Family Friend   September 03, 2020

Wherever a beautiful soul has been, the gift of beautiful memories remains. Walt was extraordinary, he was loving, and had a pure heart. His love of life was evident from the moment he walked into a room and will forever remain with me. Thank you Walt, for your wife, children and grandchildren who will continue to spread your love and impact all of our lives.

Posted by Cathy Coyle - Family   September 02, 2020

We had the honor of meeting Walter Preston on the occasion of his grandson's (Timothy) and our daughter's (Alicia) wedding. From our conversations with him at the wedding, we could tell he was an incredibly interesting man with a great sense of humor. Reading through the story of his life, we were so impressed by the multitude of his accomplishments. We feel honored to have met this most incredible man.

Posted by Mark and Laura Fischer - Orlando, FL - Family Friend   September 02, 2020

Thinking of Walter and his family and sending our most sincere condolences.
Mark and Laura Fischer

Posted by Laura Fischer - Orlando, FL - Family Friend   September 02, 2020

I have known this loving man for 47 years. The things I will remember most about Walt were his love of God, family, Phillies, playing cards, hot dogs, yard sales and his Secret Santa gifts every Christmas. He was a pleasure to be around and will be sorely missed. He was a wonderful man! Blessed to be your daughter-in-law. Love, Helene

Posted by Helene Preston - West Chester, PA - Family   September 02, 2020

Uncle Walt's compassion to others I thought made him special, I am thankful for times uncle Walt and aunt Joan spent with Evelyn and I and their kindness will never be forgotten. Love to Aunt Joan and family.

Posted by Eugene Lavoie - South Daytona, FL - Family   September 02, 2020

Dear Joan and family, I am sending deepest sympathy and love on Walt's passing. To know Walt through all the years at St. Gabriel's has been a joy and a privilege. He was always a caring and giving man and he will surely be missed. Love and Peace, Jackie Sallade

Posted by Jacqueline Sallade - Norwood, PA - Friend   September 01, 2020

Joan & Family, We are so sad to hear of Walt's passing. He was a dear, kind, sweet soul. We were fortunate to have him and all of you as part of the extended Coyle Family. Love to all during this difficult time.
Terry (Coyle), Vern, Eli & Josh Tryon

Posted by Theresa Tryon - colorado springs, CO - Family   September 01, 2020

Will miss you Uncle Walt. Thinking of your family at this time. Love to Aunt Joan

Posted by Robin Tascione - Clifton Heights, PA - Family   September 01, 2020


Family Album


Community Photos

Mom and Dad after Alicia and Justin's wedding at the shore
Mom and Dad at Tim and Alicia's Wedding
Dad's Navy Photo
Mom and Dad Easter 2017 at the shore

Community Photos

Preston Family Wedding, October 7, 2018
It was an honor and a privilege to have know Walt for close to 50 years. Even though he wasn't my dad, he taught me so much about life. I always looked forward to my annual visits to visit my family, and always tried to make a point to stop by and see Joan and Walt. My visits will be emptier without him there. You can tell more about a person by the way they raise their kids, him and Joan did an amazing job raising Bob, Monica, Stacie and Steve. Your legacy will live in in them and their children. God Bless!