His memory will be cherished

Walter Van Dalinda, a true living legend in our community, passed away recently at the age of 99.

Anyone who knew Walter will attest that he had a keen mind and a sense of purpose in whatever he set out to do. More important, he possessed the trait of being a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He was the last of his generation of family members who were among the most distinguished ever to live in our community, all of whom contributed in so many ways to our town from the 1940s through the 1980s. (Indeed, there is a mention of his brother John in this week’s More Things Change Column.)

Walter Van Dalinda served on the Board of Selectmen for 12 years at a time when selectmen had to run for re-election every year. (His brother John also served on the Board of Selectmen), a testament to the high esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens.

Ten years ago we published a special edition for the new millennium in which we included Walter as one of the top 100 Winthrop citizens of the century. We wrote at that time, “Walter A. Van Dalinda unquestionably was one of the most important town leaders of his generation, serving on the Board of Selectmen in the 1950s and 1960s. Van Dalinda was a strong voice for the town on the issues of noise and air pollution from Logan Airport, spearheading opposition throughout Greater Boston. Van Dalinda was recognized by his peers by twice being elected Chairman of the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns.”

Walter Van Dalinda was among the best of the best in our community. May he rest on peace.

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