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Home Obituaries In Memory: Walter M. Hollister, Age 92

In Memory: Walter M. Hollister, Age 92

Obituary - Walter M. HollisterWalter M. Hollister, loving husband for 62 years of J. Sally (Boston) Hollister, and a longtime resident of Lincoln, MA died at home on September 9, 2023, at the age of 92.

Walter grew up in Rye, NY where he graduated valedictorian from Rye High School while earning varsity letters in five sports. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College with a BA degree earning varsity letters in football and track. He then went on to graduate Tau Beta Pi from MIT with a BSEE degree playing Rugby and indoor track. After MIT he went to work with Sperry Gyroscope as a Technical Representative on the autopilot for the B-47 at March AFB In Riverside, CA.

In April 1954, he joined the U.S. Navy to attend OCS at Newport, RI, followed by flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL. After serving two more years as a jet attack pilot at NAS Miramar, CA, he returned to graduate school at MIT in 1958 and became active in the Naval Air Reserve at NAS South Weymouth, MA. In 1960, he met Sally, who had recently arrived from England, and was working at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. They were married at her home near Oxford in the UK, and during an extended honeymoon, found that Walter had been recalled for another year of active duty. He was stationed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and his mission was to patrol the Caribbean taking aviation photos of Soviet ships bringing missiles to Cuba.

In 1963, he completed his doctorate and joined the faculty in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. That same year he moved to Lincoln, MA. His naval reserve career culminated achieving the rank of Captain (O-6) after a total of 22 years, including 3 years as Commanding Officer of an A-4 Jet Attack Squadron. After 40 years of teaching at MIT, he became Professor Emeritus. He had authored or coauthored over 75 technical papers and a textbook. During his time at MIT, he served as a NATO consultant for 10 years.

Walter always had a passion for anything to do with flight and was a flight instructor in both aircraft and helicopters. He continued soaring and flying light aircraft and gliders into retirement. He loved sports, and his other hobbies included running, cycling, hiking, swimming, roller blading and skiing. He was a fun-loving man who always put family first and was deeply loved by family and friends.

In addition to his wife, Sally, he is survived by his son, Mark Hollister of Wilmington, MA, his daughter Heather Hollister of Somerville, MA, his son, Hans Hollister and his wife Olcan Hollister of Bethesda, MD. He is also survived by his sister, Jane (Hollister) Nicodemus of Warminster PA, brothers-in-law Dr. Francis Boston of Montreal, Canada, Simon Boston and Richard Boston of UK and 2 grandchildren, Dylan and Sophia Hollister. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Harold Hollister of Wilmington, OH, and Richard Hollister of Rye, NY.

Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service for Walter on Saturday October 14, 2023 at 11:00 am at St. Anne’s in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, 147 Concord Road, Lincoln, MA. A second service will be held in England at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Walter’s name may be made to St. Anne’s in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 6, Lincoln, MA 01773 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037.

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.


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