Walter Petz, a long time member of the Scouting community passed away on Dec 5, 2007 at age 95.
Born Aug. 15, 1912 in Ansonia, the son of the late Adam and Anna Korlak Petz, Walter Petz’s interest in Scouting began in 1923 when he spent a weekend on the estate of Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the founders of the Boy Scout movement in America. Walter wasn’t allowed to join a scout troop because it was soon after WWI and some parents thought that it was of a military nature. However in 1937, after marrying Rod Kneen’s sister Carolyn and moving next door to Ed Strang, he became an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 3 at Ed’s invitation. Walter earned his Eagle Scout Rank as an adult, which was allowed back then, and became Troop 3’s 28th Eagle Scout because, according to Walter “If I was going to lead and train Scouts, I wanted to learn as much as I could about Scouting”. He remained actively involved in Scouting the rest of his life.
When Explorer Post 33 Advisor George Kneen left for Air Cadet School, Walter became its leader. During the war years Explorer Post 33 became an Air Squadron Post. Walter was also a 60 year member and “Head Foot” of the Wingdorf Pazorkas society of Troop 3 Committeemen. In 1972, Walter was Chairman of the dinner celebration honoring Ed Strang for 50 years in Scouting. More than 600 people attended this event.
For many years Walter served as Treasurer and Institutional Representative for Troop 3 Derby and as a Citizenship, Pets and Gardening merit badge counselor. The Walter Petz Citizenship Award and Scholarship is presented annually by his grandchildren to a graduating Troop 3 scout in honor of their grandfather. Walter organized and for many years directed the committeemen’s “Petz’s beauties” in the annual Minstrels and Gang Shows and in 1985, was responsible for Ed Strang receiving a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan for his many years of directing the “controlled chaos” of the Minstrels and Gang Shows. Walter also served as emcee at Pack 3’s Blue and Gold banquets for many years.
Walter has been presented with the President’s Award, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award and James E. West Fellowship Award by the Housatonic Council and National Boy Scouts of America. He was also honored at Troop 3’s 85th Anniversary dinner with the “3 for Life” award for lifelong dedicated service to Pack 3, Troop 3 and Crew 33. Walter was a seventy-year member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Outside of Scouting, Walter was the proud father of Susan Davis, Judy Petz and Carrie Sharkey, the grandfather of seven, great-grandfather of eleven and great-great-grandfather of two. Walter and Carolyn, his wife of 69 years, were devoted members of the Derby United Methodist Church, where he was a Trustee and where he served as Superintendent of the Youth School for 24 years. Even at age 90 Walter continued to work at Latex Foam as a manufacturing machinery consultant and he was a long time member of the Valley Transit District representing the city of Shelton as a director, appointed in 1971.
Walter Petz lived a long and prosperous life. He was very proud of his role in Scouting, especially in helping Scouts to become good citizens. He lived his life by the Scout Oath and Law. Troop 3 was certainly blessed to count Walter Petz as a member for 70 years. He will be missed.