Walter Joseph Lufkin Jr., 95, a longtime Abington resident and an Atlantic Richfield Co. employee for three decades, died Wednesday, Dec. 19, of cerebrovascular disease at Rydal Park in Jenkintown.
Mr. Lufkin joined the Atlantic Refining Co. in 1945. His responsibilities included the field of industrial engineering, which was new at the time, and later, implementation of information technology.
In the 1970s, he retired from Atlantic Richfield Co., now part of British Petroleum, with the title systems implementation manager.
Known to friends as "Bob" from an early age, he was called "Pater" by his family.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in West Oak Lane, Mr. Lufkin ranked 12th of 358 students when he graduated from Northeast High School in 1935.
He was hired right out of high school as a textile salesman by Dykeman Loeb & Co. in Philadelphia and continued studying at Philadelphia Textile School (now Philadelphia University), though he never earned a college degree.
He learned engineering and mathematics, and general management skills, his family said.
Mr. Lufkin enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1940 and served during World War II and again in the Korean War, attaining the rank of aviation chief machinist's mate. He was present during nuclear testing at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, his family said.
In 1955, Mr. Lufkin moved to Abington, where he joined Abington Presbyterian Church. He started the "Tuesday Morning Gang," performing light maintenance in the church and on the grounds for many years.
In retirement, Mr. Lufkin served for 19 years on the advisory board of the Montgomery County Office on Aging and Adult Services, and for a decade with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Action Committee.
Mr. Lufkin believed in staying active and out of the limelight, his son Richard said. "He was the salt of the earth - he would not trumpet his own accomplishments when something was going on, but remained in the background."
In 1983, Mr. Lufkin wrote the history of Abington for a Montgomery County publication while serving with the Old York Road and Upper Moreland Historical Societies. He was a member of the Philadelphia Trail Club, the Navy League, and the Jenkintown Rotary Club.
Surviving, in addition to his son, are his wife of 70 years, the former Doris Lillian Cripps; a daughter, Lois Lufkin Peiffer; another son, Robert Walter; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson. A brother died earlier.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 Old York Rd., Abington, Pa. 19001. Visitation will follow. Interment will be private. Donations may be made to the church.