Walter J. James

1936 – 2020

Walter J. James of Riverhead passed away Sept. 16, 2020, at Peconic Bay Medical Center. He was 84. 

He was born Feb. 27, 1936, to Maria Gangone and Walter S. James in Brooklyn, N.Y. Walter found his way out to Riverhead while serving in the U.S. Air Force and stationed at Gabreski Air Base in Westhampton. There he met Carol Polak, his late ex-wife. Together they had two children who survive them, Christopher R. James of Aquebogue (Tracy Stark) and Jennifer James of Suffolk County. Walter is also survived by six grandchildren: Jesse Trafford of Arizona, Aimee Trafford of Massachusetts and Sage McGee of Suffolk County, Rachael James of Florida and Marisa James and Dylan James of Riverhead. 

Walter worked for the Grumman Corporation at the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Calverton for 25 years before retiring. He enjoyed just sitting and watching nature, loved his cats and dog, and was an avid target trap shooter, winning numerous club championships. Known as Walt to his East End Trapshoot members, in 1995 he competed in the 16-yard C division and ran 200 clay targets straight, an incredible feat that went down in the record books during the Cicero, N.Y., Northeastern Grand. He garnered the title of Singles Champ against 500 other shooters. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, donations to the NRA would be greatly appreciated. 

Visiting hours and a funeral service took place Sept. 21 at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. Burial with military honors followed at Calverton National Cemetery.

This is a paid notice.