Dale Says

February 21, 2011

Walter J Harlow

Filed under: Colorful Characters, Profile — Dale @ 3:51 pm

Walter J. “Walt” Harlow passed away at his home Wednesday, February 9, 2011 after a brief illness. Walt was a third-generation San Franciscan, a fact of which he was very proud, a long-time and dedicated Mason, avid world traveler, and ardent fan of the San Francisco 49ers. At his passing, he joins his parents, Walter and Alice (Priest) Harlow, and his beloved wife, Elsa.

Walt was born in San Francisco on July 27, 1923 and spent his early days in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, where he attended Sanchez Grade School, Everett Middle School, and Mission High School. He often related stories of tromping around the neighborhood with his school buddies and enjoying 25-cent thick chocolate milkshakes from the ice cream fountain at 16th and Sanchez.

After graduating from Mission High School, Walt joined the U.S. Army, where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Following the war, he returned to San Francisco and worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad for 42 years. When Walt’s parents relocated to San Francisco’s Lakeside neighborhood in 1951 Walt moved with them. Following the death of his parents, Walt remained in the family home and his bride, the former Elsa Baldus, joined him. Together, Walt and Elsa explored San Francisco, Northern California, and much of the world. During their extensive travels, Walt took thousands of photographs, and he framed and hung some of the best in their home.

Walt was a member of the Temple United Methodist Church for many years where he served as usher and helped monitor the length of Sunday sermons.

He was an active Mason (San Francisco Lodge 120) for 59 years in the same lodge as his father, and he held every major office including Master and Chaplin (for the past 37 years). Walt also edited the lodge’s newsletter for 35 years and wrote a column called “Walt’s Corner” for many years.

Walt’s many friends, lodge brothers, and acquaintances will miss him greatly. A memorial service will be held at the Masonic Lodge (855 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco 94132) at 3:00 PM on Sunday, March 13, 2011. Everyone who knew Walt is invited to attend.

Almighty Father: Into thy hands we commend the soul of our departed brother.

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