Sept. 10, 1928 – Sept. 6, 2013
Robert J. Walter, of West Seneca, a retired Buffalo police officer, died Friday in Mercy Hospital. He was 84.
Born in Buffalo, he attended Holy Name Elementary School and was a graduate of Emerson Vocational High School.
Before he joined the Buffalo Police Department in 1957, he owned and operated Bob Walter’s Bakery Service and was known in the Walden-Bailey neighborhood as Bob the Baker.
During the 1940s and 1950s, he started the Walden-Bailey Athletic Club, coached many teams and ran the club’s games at Crystal Beach. He also was president of the Walden-Bailey Businessmen’s Association and was chairman of the annual Easter egg hunt in Schiller Park.
As a police officer, for 25 years he teamed with Officer Bob Boye to transport prisoners by bus from the lockup at Buffalo Police Headquarters to City Court and to the Erie County Correctional Facility in Wende. They retired together in 1988.
The two officers were known for their closet in the basement of the City Court building, where they kept a supply of used clothing for prisoners to wear so they would look respectable in front of the judge.
Mr. Walter was a past president of the Buffalo Police Credit Union and a past financial secretary of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association.
A Canisius High School parent and booster, he was head of security for the first 27 years of the annual Gambit fundraiser.
He was a founding parishioner of Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in West Seneca and played Santa at Christmas events in churches, nursing homes and community centers for more than 30 years.
He also was a member of Father Baker Council 2243, Knights of Columbus; and the Valley Community Center Senior Citizens. He also played in many pinochle tournaments.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Elizabeth “Betty” Carlin; two sons, retired Navy Capt. Kevin and Robert J. Jr.; and a sister, Patricia Aman.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Tuesday in Queen of Heaven Church, West Seneca.