Walter H. "Walt" Tanzler, Jr. - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Walter H. “Walt” Tanzler, Jr.

July 10, 1954 - January 14, 2022

Walter H. “Walt” Tanzler, Jr., age 67, of Middletown, DE, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Born in Pennsylvania on July 10, 1954, he was a son of the late Walter H. Tanzler, Sr. and Patricia (Ryan) Tanzler.  Walt was a 1972 graduate of Frankford High School. He then started his military career and served in the U.S. Marines in Guam from 1972 until 1974.

Following his honorable discharge, Walt worked as a machinist at Summit Machine, American Meter and worked in various other positions until his retirement in 2016 from Germantown Tool as the quality control manager/safety manager.

Walt was drawn back to the military life ten years later, joining the U.S. Air Force Reserves in the fall of 1984. He continued his education during his time in the Air Force Reserves, completing many engineering and management courses. He also became the first airman in his unit to successfully pass the load planning course for new computer aided load planning systems. Walt spent most of his Air Force career at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in the 31st Aerial Port Squadron 913th Tactical Wing, but was also deployed on active duty in Ramstein, Germany supporting Operation Desert Shield. Throughout his Air Force career, he got to travel the world, including Germany, Italy, England, and Hawaii as well as many states around the U.S. Walt retired as a Master Sergeant in July 2004.

Walt also had a passion for sports. He was an avid bowler and coached softball. He was a huge Philadelphia Eagles Football fan and served as head referee for a youth football league in Pennsylvania for over 20 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed building model aircraft, dioramas, flying radio-controlled airplanes and learning about military history. In his last year, he enjoyed flying with his son and looking down at the world from above knowing that soon, he’d be looking down on it forever.

After his cancer diagnosis in February 2019, his resolve to stay here as long as possible was remarkable. Prior to his passing, Walt was honored by the military on December 19, 2021 at a pinning ceremony near his home where he received an escort by the Delaware State Police to the venue while neighbors, friends and family lined the streets waving flags and saluting him. He was greeted by family and friends and was honored for his military service, both as a U.S. Marine and a U.S. Air Force Reserve Airman.

Walt was a devoted husband to his loving wife Susan (Lyszkowski) Tanzler and after 43 years together, their love was stronger than ever. He was an amazing father to his son Joe Tanzler (Jessie) and was an extraordinary “Pop-Pop” to his granddaughter Aubrey and grandson Evan. Walt leaves behind his brothers, Robert (Patricia), James (Dorothy), and Joseph (Susan) and many nieces and nephews, to whom he was known as “Uncle Bucky”. He also leaves behind several cousins, aunts and uncles with whom he was very close.

Walt was a very respected and honorable man who was loved by many and will be dearly missed by all.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 11:30 am until 12:30 pm on Friday, February 11, 2022, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 275 East Main Street, Middletown, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 12:30 pm. Interment will follow in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.

For those who are unable to attend the funeral service in-person on February 11, 2022 at 12:30 pm, the funeral service will be live-streamed online and can be accessed by clicking here.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Walt’s memory to Bayada Hospice Foundation, 4250 Lancaster Pike, Suite 308, Wilmington, DE 19805.


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21 Condolences for Walter H. “Walt” Tanzler, Jr.

  • I have know Walt for many wonderful years. He was in mine and Chal’s wedding. Walt and Sue have visited us in Lancaster pa to go camping with us. I will truly miss him going forward. RIP my friend, Marianne McCafferty

  • Was a great cousin and great to all his family and friends and very good man gone too soon but he had a lot of life longer than he thought he had so it’s okay I guess RIP

  • My condolences to you and your family. The video is a wonderful tribute. God Bless You

  • Walter definitely made a difference in a lot of people’s lives and that’s all we can do

  • Love always

  • Walt will be missed. I am so glad I got to know him. A truly great person who was always there to help. I will miss you, Walt. Be at peace with your mom and dad. 🙏🌹🇺🇸

  • Oh Cuz! How shall we continue on without you? Look for me. Listen for me calling your name. Until we meet again, Aloha nui Aloha

  • May you rest in the arms of our Lord at peace and free of pain and suffering. You will be missed by your community at WW.

  • Hey im sorry to hear this sandy told me Was a great video he was great guy and American U guys had great years together those memories are foever

  • Our sincerest condolences. Walter lived an amazing life and we are truly thankful to have had the pleasure of knowing him. Thank you for your service Walter H. Tanzler. You made the world a better place.

  • Please except my sincere and deepest sympathy on Walt’s passing. We knew and worked with each other for many a year. Please know he was a well respected member of the 31st and a great friend to all. May his memory bring you comfort during this difficult time.

  • We want to offer our sincere sympathy to Sue and her son and his family for their loss and be able to find comfort in knowing he is resting in the arms of his God. I know they will miss him dearly. Have always heard what a wonderful, kind and loving person he was. May he now rest in peace.
    Courtland Widdoss and Tim Shaffer

  • I know Walter since he worked at Germantown tools. He was a very good friendly person

  • Our dear sweet Walter, you are now walking with our Lord Jesus. You will be so missed. Our Hearts go out to your Family. You lived in honorable and happy life. Now enjoy The company of your mom dad and all of your other Family members that have gone before you. You deserve this promotion into the heavenly of heavens!! Love, Aunt Eileen and Uncle Angie.

  • my sincere sympathy and prayers go out to my cousins, the Tanzler family.
    I know Walter will be very sadly missed and he is loved by many
    sim sure he walked through those pearly gates
    with a smile on his face right into the arms of his parents Aunt Pat and uncle Walter
    rest in peace Walter 🙏🏻
    with much love your cousin Sherry and Joe DeSantis ❤️

  • Even though we’ve only known Walt a short time, he has made an enormous footprint on our community. We are blessed to have known Walt. Fly in the sky, Walt, and please look down on all of us!
    Di, Gary & Heather

  • Walt lived life to the fullest good. Walt was a dedicated son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and of course the finest brother-in-law. He treated my mother very well and I’ll always thank him for that. We all love you Walt and will all miss you very much. Denis Lyszkowski

  • Sue and I were friends in the good old days. I did not know Walt as well as I would have liked to but he was a part of Sue’s life and therefore a friend to me. I am very sorry for his passing. I know it is a tremendous loss to his family. My heartfelt sympathies to Sue and Joe and his whole family.

  • Walter was a good and honorable man. He will be greatly missed. I know that there is a joyful reunion with his father and mother in heaven. Love Uncle Bobby and Aunt Marie

  • I never got the privilege of meeting Walt, but have had the honor of calling his son, Joe, a great friend for many years now. I know it takes a great man to raise a friend like Joe. Thank you Joe for your friendship and thank you Walt for raising a friend like Joe.

  • Our condolences , very sorry to hear of his passing , our prayers to everyone