Walter M. Eagles Jr. loved baseball, golfing, and especially fishing. He fished the back bays of Wildwood and the streams and creeks of Pennsylvania.
And because he worked nights at The Inquirer, he was able to be involved in youth sports leagues and umpired his sons’ baseball games.
Only six months ago, Mr. Eagles was feeling so good that he told one son, “I think I’m going to make it to 100.”
Even though he used an inhaler and suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, "he was in fairly good shape,” said son Bob.
Mr. Eagles, 95, formerly of Willow Grove, died Friday, April 24, at Fort Washington Estates, a nursing facility in Upper Dublin, from complications of the coronavirus.
Born in Philadelphia in 1924, he was the first of two sons of Walter and Marie Eagles of Rhawnhurst. He learned the printing trade at Dobbins Vocational Technical School.
He joined the Navy during World War II, and served on a cargo ship and traveled the world.
Bob Eagles said his father kept a scrapbook of the places he saw, including a picture of himself on an Arabian stallion in front of the Pyramids.
After military service, Mr. Eagles worked at a small printing company and met Marie Hoopes, the sister of a Navy friend. They were married in 1944 and had four children.
They moved from Philadelphia to Willow Grove, where they were together for 65 years until Marie Eagles’ death in 2009.
“He really missed my mom,” Bob Eagles said.
Mr. Eagles worked as an engraver at The Inquirer from 1949 to 1989.
Despite his name, baseball was his sport. “He loved the Phillies,” Bob Eagles said.
In addition to his son, he is survived by sons Walter III and Ted, daughter Susan, 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
A Funeral Mass is to be held at a later date.