Walter Tolley Jr.
Walter Tolley Jr. passed away peacefully at his home on May 7th. He was 93 years old and above all he loved three things: his family, fishing, and telling stories about his family and fishing! Walt was predeceased by his wife of 70 years Yvonne K. Tolley and his grandson, Matthew Tolley. He leaves behind his children: Bob, and spouse Deena of Yarmouth Port, Ken, and spouse Karen of Chatham; Stu, and spouse Dawn of Chatham, Debbie Zeigler, and spouse Cyd of Washington, Maine and Holly Gibson, and spouse John of Centerville. He was also known as Grampi, and received tremendous joy from his15 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren. He also leaves behind a brother, Fred, of West Yarmouth.
Son of a commercial lobsterman, Walt was raised in Yarmouth Port. He would recall many happy memories of growing up on the Bass Hole; working on a local farm before and after school, pulling his own lobster traps to sell to local families, hunting in the woods, and just being out in nature. Walt served in the Army during WWII and upon return, he met and married the love of his life, Yvonne.
Walt attended Trinity College and become an engineer with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. After 14 years he left his job behind and moved back to Cape Cod to raise his family and pursue his love of commercial fishing. Walt had a passion for the fishing industry and introduced it to his children as well as his grandchildren. His appreciation for the ocean’s abundance became fuel for his staunch advocacy toward ocean sustainability and the small boat fishing industry.
When he wasn’t fishing, he enjoyed spending time at his camp in Vermont. This included visits with his extended family and friends with whom he shared many treasured moments.
Walt’s work ethic, determination and independent spirit touched anyone who knew him. Walt often expressed astonishment and gratitude for the life he lived, and for the many blessings he received along the way.