Walter Samuel Gainey Jr., born Jan. 5, 1936, in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to the late Erma Elizabeth Gainey and Walter Samuel "Sammie" Gainey Sr., was the oldest of two sons, including his brother, Robert "Bobby" Gainey.
Walter was raised to be and was a follower of Jesus and a "Boston Proper."
He was a lover of jazz, Frank Sinatra, and all things Boston (especially Orchard Park). He played the piano as a young man and was schooled in many areas. He learned everything from rowing in the Charles River to proper etiquette classes.
Walter joined the Air Force and served two years. He then worked for the U.S. Postal Service and attended MIT, studying engineering and math, but found his true passion and pride for America when he enrolled back in the U.S. Army after graduating. He continued to serve his country for 36 more years. He was a West Point military retiree member that retired as CW4 in the intelligence field, speaking seven languages, breaking several barriers and becoming the first black man to serve in many high positions in U.S. Army Intelligence field. Through the Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm Wars, Walter received many awards, by various U.S. presidents. He served in many countries and throughout the United States.
Walter was a true gentleman and always quick to ask "How can I help?" He was truly an enigma. His true happiness was in serving others. Never putting himself first, he received pleasure from being a part of the joy of others.
Walter found love and fulfillment when he met a loving and devoted Cape Verden woman named Francis Anita Timas. They married and traveled the world for over 54 years before her passing. Together they raised four children, Thomas Allen (the late Yvonne) of Merced, California, William Anthony of El Paso, Texas, the late Nancy Robin, and Maria Anntoinette (Dante) Kelly of Owensboro.
He made their lives an adventure, growing up all over the world, giving them the gift of love and respect for country and community, for which they will always be grateful.
After Francis passing, Walter moved to Owensboro, where he enjoyed his grandchildren and never met a stranger. He was always most comfortable around the Band of Brotherhood that ate in the Mess Hall, and that he considered family. Walter always tried to help every veteran get everything they deserved for their time served. He volunteered for years with the VFW of Boston and Wounded Warriors, Warrant Officers Association, and anything Vietnam veteran.
His legacy of excellent and self-discipline will live on with his family, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchild and great-great-grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by all, but especially his Band of Brothers, who he always greeted with the sayings like, "I know you!," " I love you will never be enough!" and "Airborne!"
Visitation will be from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory. In Boston, Massachusetts a memorial service will take place at a later date. His final resting place will be in Arlington National Cemetery; Arlington, Virginia 22211, where he will reunite with Francis, and they will share a headstone.
Please make any offerings or gifts of love to Honor Flight Bluegrass; 212 St. Ann St.; Owensboro, KY 42301; or Vietnam Veterans of America; 8719 Colesville Road, Ste. 100; Silver Spring, MD 20910. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Mr. Gainey. Share your messages of condolence with the family of Walter Samuel Gainey at www.haleymcginnis.com.