Walter Stinson was University Heights

A public servant, a gentleman, a family man, and a legend, Walter Stinson was laid to rest on Oct. 14. Photo by Caleb Schuster.

Walter J. Stinson, 94, who served the city of University Heights for more than four decades as its community coordinator and senior services manager, died on Oct. 7. He is survived by Sara, his wife of 47 years, son Paul, and two grandchildren.

“Walter Stinson was a good man, and a great man. He loved this community, and he served this community like no other," said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “He is an inspiration, and an example for us all.”

Stinson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., moved to University Heights in 1973. Three years later, Mayor Irving Konigsberg hired him to become the city’s first community coordinator, where he promoted fair housing opportunities, welcomed new homeowners, encouraged neighborhood activities and planned senior citizen programs. Stinson handled the city’s communications and became known as “the voice of the city” as host of its cable television program, “University Heights Today.”

Stinson served in this capacity for more than 34 years, serving under Mayor Beryl Rothschild and Mayor Susan Infeld. He retired in 2010 at the age of 82 and was then rehired on a part-time basis as the city’s senior services manager, serving in that capacity for another 10 years.

By joint proclamation and resolution of Mayor Brennan and City Council, the community park at Fenwick and Saybrook roads was rededicated as Walter Stinson Community Park (aka “The Walt”) in 2019.

Stinson was 92-years-old when he retired from the city of University Heights, for the second time, in 2020, at the onset of the pandemic when in-person gatherings—especially those for seniors—were not possible.

In his honor, Mayor Brennan issued a proclamation on Oct. 10 ordering that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at University Heights City Hall and all public buildings and grounds within the city until sunset on the day of his interment. The community gathered to pay their respects at a Mass of Christian Burial at Church of the Gesu, and Stinson was interred at Lake View Cemetery on Oct. 14.

“To many, he was the face of the City, like no other. For decades on behalf of the City, he visited every new homeowner, myself included,” said Brennan. “Everyone knew him. We all celebrate his service and love of community in the park we renamed in his honor in 2019. We will all miss him.”

Mike Cook

Mike Cook is the communications and civic engagement director for University Heights.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:57 AM, 11.01.2022