North Andover — Walter P. Stiebitz, 96, formerly of Bryant Woods, Atkinson, N.H., passed away on Friday, April 11, 2014, at the Prescott House, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Walter was born in Bayonne, N.J., to Margarethe (Bucher) and Joseph Stiebitz. He graduated from East Side High School in Newark, N.J., and attended Newark College of Engineering. He began working for the Western Electric Company in Kearney, N.J., shortly before WWII, finishing his AT&T career 50 years later in 1990, at the Merrimack Valley Works, North Andover. In 1955, he was transferred to the newly opened Merrimack Valley Works, and moved his family to North Andover, where he lived until his retirement in 1990. He held various engineering management positions in Standards Engineering, as well as heading up the Microwave Tower Design group. He was instrumental in the rollout of the TL short haul microwave system in the early 1960s. Some of his fondest memories of his work at Western included traveling for the company. Over the years, Walter developed many close friendships with colleagues, which he cherished and maintained in his retirement. He was a longtime participant in the Western Electric Bowling League and enjoyed his Monday evenings, first at the Lawrence Rec Center and later at the Stadium Lanes. Walter also enjoyed playing bridge.Walter was a lifelong train fanatic and managed to ride many of them in the USA, as well as those in the countries he visited.
After his daughter, Lori, married an Irishman, Walter became an honorary Irishman every St. Patty’s Day, never missing the annual celebration at the Brown’s.
He was a Master Mason in the Madison Lodge #93, F. & A.M. in Madison, N.J., and received his 60-year pin in 2012. After relocating his family to North Andover in 1955, Walter and his wife, Bernice, became active members of the Trinitarian Congregational Church. He was a founding member and past president of the Eclectic Club, a member of the Men’s Club, and volunteered many hours on church projects. One of his more memorable activities involved rewiring of the lighted cross that hung on the steeple.