Roy M. Walkama, 95, of Erie, died Sunday, January 12, 2020 at UPMC Hamot, Erie, PA.
He was born in Ironwood, MI, only son of the late E. Mathias and Hilma (Peltohakka) Walkama.
Roy graduated from the Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood, MI. Following high school, with America at war, Roy enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was deployed overseas with the 15th Air Force, 461st Bomb Group in the B-24 Liberator, “All American” as a ball turret gunner. Roy participated in many raids, including the raid on fortress Ploesti, the campaign to destroy Hitler’s oil supply.
Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he returned home and through the GI Bill, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Michigan Technological University. After graduation, he was employed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle. Later he worked as a Mechanical Engineer at General Motors and AC Spark Plug division in Milwaukee. Roy was transferred to Billerica, MA, where he worked building gyroscopes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, assisting NASA with the Space Program of the 60’s. He later worked at General Electric in Binghamton, NY in the Transit Car division as well as in Erie, PA where he eventually transitioned to Quality Control in Transit Car Mfg., retiring from there in 1984.
He was a very active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Albion, where he participated as an Elder, Director of Pre School, led Bible Studies, sang in the church choir and was a member of the building committee.
Roy enjoyed golf, which was a lifelong passion, participated in bowling leagues and was an accomplished sailor.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Helmi (Sievila) Walkama, whom he married, December 23, 1949 in Ironwood, MI and two sisters, Rachel Jensen and Violet Westergaard.
He will be greatly missed by his family, which include his four daughters, Melissa A. Walkama, Sandra R. Schleicher (Leonard), Christina Froehlich (Thomas), Mia E. Reilly (Daniel); a son, Paul M. Walkama; his grandchildren, Kevin Schleicher (Rachel), Sara Hiser (Kane), Caleb Froehlich (Rachael), Maia Manchester, Nathan Froehlich, Daniel Reilly, Thomas Reilly (Amanda); great grandchildren, William, Lillian, Dylan, Quinn, Alexandra and Vivian.
Friends may call on Thursday from 9 a.m. to the time of the Funeral Service at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 80 3rd Ave. Albion, with Rev. Michael Taylor officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122-7226
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Edder Funeral Home Inc., Girard.
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