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.