Lifelong Greenport resident “Chief” Robert E. Walden passed away Sept. 15, 2012, at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson at the age of 77, from Alzheimer’s disease.
Bob was born in a house at Hanff’s Boatyard in Greenport on Oct. 26, 1934, to George H. and Harriet (Scott) Walden. He was the youngest of seven children.
He graduated from Greenport High School in 1952, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1953 and served until 1957. He married Diane Vallely at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport on Aug. 27, 1960.
Bob worked as a radio operator for the Southold Town Police Department until 1960, when he became a patrolman for the Greenport Police Department. He was appointed temporary chief of police in 1963 and permanently appointed in 1964. He was chief of police in Greenport for 31 years and was known for his kindness and fair treatment of everyone. He was a hard worker his whole life and had many part-time jobs, including mowing lawns, cleaning the bank, working security at school events, working in the shipping department of S.T. Preston for over 20 years and serving papers for many local lawyers. After his retirement in 1994 he continued to work at several part-time jobs, including working at White’s Hardware, delivering office supplies for Dunkerley’s, delivering the Peconic Bay Shopper and, as a final job, serving as a parking attendant at Claudio’s. He also served as a notary public for over 50 years.
Bob was president of the Police Association of Suffolk County in 1988 and also served on its board of directors. He was a 53-year member of the Phoenix Hook and Ladder Company of the Greenport Fire Department and served for many years as an usher at St. Agnes Church.
Bob enjoyed sports, including bowling in the Greenport Men’s League and playing softball for Baker Fuel in the Fireman’s League. Bob was an avid New York Yankees fan and enjoyed watching the games on TV. He enjoyed rooting for the local sports teams and was a member of the Greenport Football Club. In his spare time he enjoyed lying out in the sun. He was especially fond of crime/police novels, crossword puzzles and visits from his children and grandchildren.
For many years, Bob enjoyed taking Paul the blacksmith out for a beer every afternoon at the Chowder Pot Pub. When Paul was threatened with being placed in a nursing home, Bob accepted responsibility for managing Paul’s care, enabling him to remain in his home.
Bob loved walking through Greenport Village and always had a quick smile and a warm greeting for those he met. He was a true gentleman, and remained so throughout his illness. Bob loved his family, loved being chief of police and loved the Village of Greenport.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, his sister Lillian Soday and three brothers, Ellsworth, of Greenport, George, of Massachusetts, and LeRoy, of Locust Valley. He is survived by his wife, Diane; his brother William, of Southold; and his sister Marjorie Taylor of Bayport; as well as his five children and their families: Christine (Roger) Kimiecik of Rockville, Md., and grandchildren Mary Kate, Sean and Clare; Robert E. Walden Jr. of Greenport and grandchildren Robert E. III and Christopher; Suzanne (Matt) Curran of Spiddal, Ireland, and grandchildren Maeve, Paddy and Emma; John (Martha) Walden of Unity, N.H., and grandchildren Tommy, Chris and Bonnie; and Jeffrey (Maria) Walden of Patchogue and grandchildren Evan, Aidan and Michaela.
Bob had a fireman’s funeral and his mass was celebrated by his nephew Monsignor Ray Walden. He was buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Greenport.
Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.
This is a paid notice.