In loving Memory of Walter John Porada
December 22, 1945 - November 14, 2020
* Prioritize Family * Be Present and Engaged * Look for the Sunny Side * Work Hard to Play Hard * Laugh * Pursue Your Passions * Always Ask for a Discount *
Walter (Władysław) John Porada was born on December 22, 1945 in the Bavarian town of Regensburg, Germany. His Polish and Ukrainian parents, Władysław and Anna Porada, were released slave laborers from World War II and relocated to a displaced person’s camp in Regensburg. A few years later after Walter's birth, his sister Sophia was born. Life was hard in the camp, but Walter’s parents had dreams of a better life. At the age of 5, his parents' dreams were realized when St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Polish community in Seattle sponsored them to come to the U.S. With few possessions and two dollars to the family’s name, they set sail to New York City, followed by a train ride to Seattle.
Upon arrival to Seattle, Walter and his family lived in a house with another Polish family that sponsored them. In the coming years, Walter’s parents saved enough money to buy their own home in Rainier Valley, where they had two more daughters, Mary and Donna.
Walter graduated from Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle with the class of 1964 and then began college at the University of Washington (UW). Upon a short pause from UW, Walter was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968 and proudly served nearly three years as Private First Class and Sergeant. He finished basic training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and received the Sharpshooter Badge. The Army then sent Walter to Houston and eventually Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. After Savannah, Walter was transferred to South Korea, and served as a dental hygienist. He loved South Korea, where he enjoyed dropping off presents for children at a local orphanage. He shared story after story of his time in the military, and we are proud of his service to our great country. Walter was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1970, and then finished at UW with a BA in Business Administration/Marketing and a minor in history.
Soon after, he met his beloved wife, Nancy. For Walter, it was literally love at first sight, and on their second date he proposed. They were married shortly after in 1977 and settled in West Seattle. Walter’s family grew quickly, with the birth of his daughter Kathy in 1978, and two sons, David in 1980 and Brian in 1984. He was always there for his children and made sure they had what they needed.
To support his family, Walter worked very hard as a bread truck driver for Gai’s Bakery, instilling a strong work ethic in his children. He loved driving his truck around Seattle, socializing with his customers and learning about the different types of bread. There was never a day in the Porada household without delicious baked goods.
He also had ample pride in his community, establishing the Porada tradition of “litter patrol,” where he and the kids walked through the neighborhood collecting trash, always culminating with a sweet treat at the local 7-11.
After nearly 30 years at Gai’s, Walter retired at age 55 to focus on his passions: family, the horse track, the casino and working in his yard.
Walter loved his family. From his sons’ swim meets to his daughter’s drill performances and basketball games to his grandchildren’s’ soccer games, he was always there cheering for them. He also enjoyed comics, coin collecting, stamp collecting, the outdoors, and travel. His young family frequently road tripped to Eastern Washington, and in Walter’s later years he travelled to many locations with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Walter loved the horse track. He fell in love with it at an early age and rediscovered it through retirement. He enjoyed all the numbers, the different horses’ names, and tracking the careers of the different jockeys. Long shots were his specialty, sometimes picking winners across multiple races. Walter also loved the casino, playing Spanish 21 and Texas hold’em. At home he would practice strategies and document results.
On November 14, 2020 Walter passed away due to complications from stomach cancer. His last days were filled with love at his home in Normandy Park surrounded by his wife, children and other dear family members. Walter is survived by his wife Nancy of 43 years, three children Kathy (Max), David (Jagoda), and Brian (Krystal), three grandchildren Lincoln, Mia, and Solomon, and three sisters Sophia, Mary (Craig) and Donna (Don).
Walter was an amazing father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. He had a beautiful spirit full of charisma and passion. He was a good man and took care of his family. He was the best storyteller and comedian. He was a person you would never forget.
Walter’s celebration of life will take place on Tuesday, November 24. He will then be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery.
To honor Walter, please consider supporting cancer research at Seattle Children’s: https://www.seattlechildrens.org/giving/donate/honor-loved-one/.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter John Porada, please visit our floral store.