BACK IN 1978, Cub Scout Pack 266, of St. Dominic's Church, in the Northeast had a dream of going to Disney World to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The problem, as might be expected, was lack of money.
But with the leadership of Walter Harry Lisowski and other Scout leaders, the pack spent a year collecting paper and cans and running various fundraising activities.
The effort paid off. The Scouts managed to charter a plane and all of them went for free to the fabled entertainment park in Orlando, Fla.
Walter Lisowski, whose favorite time of year was Christmas when he played Santa for children's parties, and a mechancial engineer whose jobs took him throughout Asia, the Middle East and the jungles of Africa, died Dec. 13 of complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 69 and lived in the Northeast.
As an engineer for United Engineers & Construction, he traveled to China, Japan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He also ran projects at Three Mile Island and at the Salem and Seabrook nuclear plants.
His last assignment involved construction of a methane-power plant in a jungle in West Africa. He said he was frustrated because whenever workers cleared vegetation from the site, it would grow back within days. He retired in 2000.
Walter joined United Engineers in 1965 as a blueprint interpreter. He studied mechanical engineering at night at Temple University. He was an expediter for the company, which became a subsidiary of Raytheon Inc. in 1969.
He later was promoted to logistics and transportation manager, the job he held for 35 years before his retirement.
Walter grew up in Port Richmond and graduated from North Catholic High School. He joined the Air Force and served in England.
He was a skilled craftsman and enjoyed making things out of wood, including indoor and outdoor dioramas at Christmastime. One featured a moving rocking horse under a decorated tree complete with a music box that played "White Christmas."
In the early '60s, he met his future wife, Ruth Trask, when he was working in a drugstore in Port Richmond and she was a customer. They married in 1963.
Walter got a kick out of playing Santa Claus for family and friends and at events at the Glen Foerd Mansion in Torresdale and elsewhere.
"He loved his family and being married to his wife Ruth for 48 years, and often making a fool of himself playing with his grandsons, David and Joseph," his family said.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, David; a daughter, Audrey Nasel; two sisters, Mary and Lorraine, and his grandchildren.
Services: Were Dec. 17.