Walter “Walt” Joseph Pontbriand, 90, left this world on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, to be in the Kingdom of God.
He was born on June 8, 1930, in Worchester, Massachusetts where he played as a child, loving nature, working on his parent’s Dairy Farm and General Store, riding his horse “Prince”, fishing, and caring for the animals.
One day in 1935, when he was only five, Walt went with his dad, Joe, to deliver milk and made a stop at the home of a grieving man with a baby in his arms. When Joe returned to the truck, in tears, he told his son that the man lost his wife in childbirth and the little girl was without a mom. Walt began to cry and told his dad he wanted to take care of her.
In 1961, Walt married the love of his life, Claire Romaine Brennan. After the ceremony, Joe walked up to his son and reminded him of the day they delivered milk to the home of the little girl that lost her mommy. Walt had just married her. Little did he know back then his words of concern were so prophetic.
His love for his family was abundantly evident in everything he did. He was a thoughtful and wonderful father to his two daughters, Romaine and Monique. He was selfless and doting to Claire, his wife and best friend, until the end of her life in 2015.
Walt joined the Navy in 1951. He served during the Korean Conflict and eventually was stationed at Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He loved Virginia Beach so much, he decided to stay and make it home and have a family. He then worked at the Ford Motor Company in Norfolk for many years.
Both he and Claire were fun loving and threw many parties at their home in Shadowlawn. On one occasion, in the 1950’s, Tommy Dorsey’s band along with Johnny Ray performed in his backyard.
Walt was a kind soul with an affinity for growing things. He had a great wit and a terrific sense of humor. Anyone that knew him, understood the joy he had for his garden, his love of music, creating stained glass lamps and artwork, nature and for people.
Although he has not been gone for long, the pain of his absence is profound, but we take great solace in the fact that he is with Claire and all those that went before.
He is predeceased by his mother, Delia Beaudreau Pontbriand, his father, Joseph E. Pontbriand, his loving wife of 54 years, Claire Brennan Pontbriand, and his son in law, CWO3 Charles S. McWhite.
He leaves behind, his daughter, Romaine Knepp, her husband Lloyd Knepp, daughter, Monique H. McWhite, many close, lifelong friends and relatives.
Thank you to the wonderful caregivers at Commonwealth Senior Living at Leigh Hall Memory Care. A special note of thanks goes to Ashley, Shafideen and Diann for the kindness and excellent care they gave him.
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