Walter Grattidge

Obituary of Walter Grattidge

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Charlton New York Dr. Walter Grattidge, 98, passed away peacefully in his home in Charlton following a period of declining health. Born on May 28, 1924 in Manchester, England, he was the son of Alfred (Alf) Grattidge and Nellie (Mary Ellen) (Fernley) Grattidge. Walter grew up in a suburb just outside of Manchester called Audenshaw England and was a graduate of Lancaster Royal Grammer School. He enrolled in Physics department at Owens College and received his BS and then went on to get his PhD from Manchester University in Physics in 1950. In the summer of 1948, while on a hiking trip in the mountains near the farm village of Aurland, Sognfiord, Western Norway, he encountered a local girl named Karen Malene Ohnstad and a year later they were married. They came to the United States, first to Columbia, Missouri, (University of Missouri), then to Cambridge, Massachusetts, (MIT), before coming to Schenectady in October 1953. Walter had a 31-year long career with General Electric at the R&D Center in Niskayuna. During his tenure at GE, he was an Electron Physicist Researcher, a Liaison Scientist with relationships with many of GE’s departments, a Program Manager, a Contract Manager, an Information Scientist, an Informational System Designer, a Manager of Libraires and the Company’s Technical Informational Officer. In 1977 General Electric moved Walter and Karen to Potsdam NY to plan and build the combined library and computer center for Clarkson University, it was one of the first such learning centers in the country. They made many lifelong friends and enjoyed their time in the North Country very much. Walter retired from GE in 1985 and became co-owner of Sci-Tech Knowledge System with Jack Westbrook in Glenville NY. This was an information R&D company that converted scientific and technical data to machine-readable data for computer storage and retrieval. The company ended in 1992. In 1991 Walter helped found a new organization for his Alma Mater called The North American Foundation of the University of Manchester (NAFUM). The foundation was formed to assist students from the United States who attended the University of Manchester to provide financial aid and assistance. Over his tenure he successfully raised over 3.5 million dollars in support of his alma mater. He served on its board since inception and recently received “The Medal of Honor” from the university for all of his generous support of time and financial resources. His wife Karen passed away in 2010 after a long period of time with Alzheimer’s disease and Walter was her primary caregiver for that time. Walter was blessed a couple of years later reconnecting with Dr Grace Jorgensen and becoming traveling soulmates and enjoying life to the fullest with their loving family and numerous friends. They spent 8 wonderful years together at Colburg Village in Clifton Park and made many dear friends out there. Walter was a member and very involved with 1st Methodist Church in Schenectady. He was also involved with many organizations including Burnt Hills Rotary, Charlton Seniors, Friends of the Library’s, the Schenectady Symphony, Albany Medical Foundation, and his beloved NAFUM just to name a few. Walter placed a high priority on education and started a scholarship at SCCC for students interested in science. At his weekly Burnt Hills Rotary Club meetings, he was known for asking the most interesting questions and having a wide range of knowledge in many subjects. Walter was also known as a proper Englishman and always wore a tie regardless of the occasion and he truly was “A Man for All Seasons”. He is survived by two sons, John and wife Judy and Alan and his partner Melissa Stevens-Thompson both of Charlton: two loving granddaughters Emily of Ballston Spa and Erika of Durham, NC and their mother Charlotte Grattidge. He also had two sisters, Audrey Christensen of Los Gatos CA and Liz Hicklin from Melbourne Australia and a sister-in-law Helen Grattidge from Alberta Canada as well as several nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, June 10th at the First United Methodist Church, 603 State Street, Schenectady. His cremated remains will be interred in the Columbarium at the church. The family would like to thank all the people that helped Walter and Grace in their years, the many caregivers, the friends and staff at Colburg Village, his many doctors and the staff at Albany Med in his final weeks. And finally, to Hospice for helping us bring Walter home to Charlton to enjoy the peace and quiet in his final days. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: The North American Foundation of the University of Manchester (NAFUM) PO Box 293 Littleton, MA 01460 The Alzheimer Association 225 N. Michigan Ave Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601 Walter Grattidge Scholarship at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, 78 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305. Arrangements are by the Jones Funeral Home, 2020 Central Avenue, Colonie NY. To leave a condolence for the family, please visit
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Memorial service

2:00 pm
Saturday, June 10, 2023
First United Methodist Church Of Schenectady
603 State Street
Schenectady, New York, United States
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Walter Grattidge

In Loving Memory

Walter Grattidge

1924 - 2023

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