Nov. 29, 1922 – Dec. 24, 2014
Walter “Wally” N. Weber, a World War II veteran and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, died Wednesday at Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 92.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Weber was one of eight children raised in Cheektowaga. He was an altar boy at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Cheektowaga and served in the Civil Conservation Corps from 1936 to 1939, assisting with public work relief projects in Lamoile, Nev.; Paradise Valley, Utah; and Port Byron. He then worked at Buffalo Arms building machine guns until the war began.
Always an airplane enthusiast, Mr. Weber enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces, serving from 1942 to 1945 in the 737th bomb squadron, 454th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force. Stationed in Italy, he was a gunner in a B-24 bomber until a battle injury took him out of service. He achieved the rank of sergeant during his tour of duty and was the recipient of a Purple Heart and European Theater Citation.
After the war, Mr. Weber worked as a tractor trailer driver for many years. He was employed with Gene Adams Refrigerated Trucking in Cheektowaga and Consolidated Freightways in the City of Tonawanda until retiring in 1988.
He was awarded the Million Mile Award for Outstanding Professional Driving and was a Mack Million Mile Club member. Before he retired, he received recognition for safely completing over 2 million accident-free miles.
In retirement, he pursued his interests in flying and auto racing. He was a longtime member of the Aero Club of Buffalo, Chapter 46 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Disabled American Veterans and the Air Force Association.
Mr. Weber was an accomplished, self-taught musician, playing the mandolin, acoustic guitar and bass. As part of the well-known Weber Family, Mr. Weber and his brothers – Ernest and Fritz – performed country music at numerous clubs and jamborees, and helped many local musicians get their start.
In 1999, the Weber Family was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame as one of the first country western bands to receive prominence for thseir bluegrass sound. During his long musical career, Mr. Weber played with a number of country western bands and had the pleasure of working with many renowned and local musicians, including Stan Szelest, Eddie Bentley, Duane Hall and Ramblin’ Lou.
He was married for 49 years to the former Isabella Mueller, who died in 1995.
Mr. Weber is survived by his wife of 18 years, the former Joan Deuschle; his son, Walter C.; two daughters, Wendy Salvati and Judith Wilson; two brothers, Ernest and Paul; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Jan. 10 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Williamsville.