Walt was born in Bridgeport, CT on October 17, 1922 to the late Konstanty and Mary Mutko Zaniewski.
He attended St. Michaels and Waltersville schools, and graduated from Warren Harding High School. He also attended Warren Institute, Vaughns College and UCONN. Walter was a veteran of WWII, serving in the European Theater, assigned to the 71st Division under Patton’s 7th and 3rd Armies.
Fluent in several languages, he often was called as an interpreter for his commanding officers. He attained the rank of 1st. Sgt, and was assigned special duty to repatriate the Russians. After the war ended, he was assigned to release and administer to displaced persons in camps and POW camps throughout Poland, Bavaria and Austria.
One of his proudest moments was when he was chosen to transport the Lipizzan Stallions through Bavaria. He was also a member of the “Mule Pack”, which penetrated enemy lines, often in plain sight of the Germans.
After his most honorable discharge, Walter was a self-employed barber in Bridgeport for many years. He still is recognized as “Walt the Barber” by several generations. He began a second career, retiring in 1988 as Inspector Engineer for the City of Milford.
In retirement, Walter was a well-known and welcome face at the VA Hospital in West Haven, the Parsons Complex and City Hall in Milford. Walter was extremely active in sports, bowling and playing softball and basketball. He received the Golden Crown Award from the Stratford Old Timers in 1996. He was the oldest player on the Over 50 league for the City of Milford. He also coached and managed several area teams, and was a mentor to many who will be attending his services.
He recently was honored at a surprise 90th celebration, and was so happy to be with all of his family members and close friends at such a happy event.
Survivors include his daughters; Justice of the Peace Karen Zaneski-Nettleton of Milford and Kathy Pechar (Fred) of Madison, two grandchildren; Joshua (Joanne) Pechar and Christina (Mark) Sekelsky, and one great-granddaugher; Natalia Sofia; and several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews.
Mr. Zaneski was predeceased by his siblings: Mamie Vidnansky, Jean Perkowski, Sophie Vitello and Frank Zaniewski.
The family would like to thank all of his doctors and friends at the VA, especially “Dr. Vicky” Chang, Larry Anderson and “Charlie Pride”, for their wonderful care and concern they gave to Walter through the years.
Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford, handled arrangements. Burial in Kings Highway Cemetery, Milford.
Online condolences: gregoryfdoylefuneralhome.com.