Veteran, retired fireman and devoted husband, father and grandfather, Walter J. “The Great Wheat” Luedke passed away peacefully on February 11, 2021 at the age of 90.
Walter was born December 23, 1930 in Brooklyn, NY. As a family of eight, Walter took on the role of helping his family at a young age. He spent much of his childhood working, shaping him to be the determined, hard working and dedicated husband and father he would one day become.
Walter joined “The Bravest” in 1958 and was a loyal member of the FDNY for 30 years. Notably, he was stationed with two of the busiest firehouses, Ladder 120, Brooklyn and Ladder 55 the Bronx, retiring from City Island. After moving to Monroe, NY in 1967 with his family, Walter was selected as the first Chief for the South Blooming Grove Fire Department. He felt such honor and was proud to wear that hat. As a weekly volunteer at the old Arden Hill hospital Walter felt such pleasure as a patient ambassador. He left many people laughing and feeling just a little bit better with his antics.
After being stationed in Alaska while serving in the military, Walter quickly found his peace in the comfort of the crisp cold air and glistening snowy grounds. Later when Walter wasn’t giving his life to saving others he could be found with his family skiing, snowmobiling or simply relaxing with a cigar at his home away from home. He felt if ever there was heaven on earth it was in the snowy hills and land of Boonville NY.
Walter proudly reminisced how as a child he would sneak into many Brooklyn Dodger games. He was a long devoted Giants and Mets fan, always seen wearing a baseball cap or t-shirt to show his support. “I think he was a quiet Jets fan too”- Son Tom, only non-Giant fan. For his own leisure, he was considered to be one of the first to run around the lakes of Monroe Goose pond that today is a daily routine to many. Walter, an avid golfer, was a great supporter of the WEL Foundation named after his 2 sons.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Eileen (Kehoe) Luedke at home; four children and their spouses, Thomas (Eileen) of Washingtonville, NY, Eileen of New Milford, CT, John (Medina) partner Ft Lee, NJ, Daniel (Robyn) of Washingtonville, NY; grandchildren, Meghan, Deirdra, Maureen, Michaela, Madeline, John, Daniel and Patrick; sisters, Mary, Patricia; brother, Charlie and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his sons Walter and Edward; parents, Walter and Lilian; sisters, Lillian and AnnaMae
A wake will be held at Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers, Inc., located at 139 Stage Road, Monroe, New York 10950 on Saturday, February 20, 2021, between the hours of 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm with a Funeral Mass following at St. Anastasia Church located at 21 N Main St, Harriman, NY 10926 at 2:00 pm
Please contact the funeral home via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a time period for the wake. Please include your contact information and name of all individuals in your party. Please list a time slot and we will attempt to accommodate the time period requested. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
NOTE: EACH TIME SLOT IS FOR 10 MINUTES DURING THE VISITATION PERIOD.
We will response to your request during the hours of 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Monday-Friday)
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Walter’s name to The WEL Foundation, P.O. Box 642, Washingtonville, NY 10992.
The family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to the staff at Valley View Center- Nursing Care for their tender loving care they bestowed on our dear Walter.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Thomas & Brendan Flynn and the staff of Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers, Inc.
To offer an online memorial please visit www.flynnfh.com
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