Walter A. "Walt" Groesch
Walter A. Groesch, Ph.D, “all around nice guy and snappy dresser” died at 8:30 am, Saturday, June 16, 2012 surrounded by family and friends who loved him very much after a long battle with prostate cancer. He will be greatly missed by those whose lives he touched. He was born November 30, 1942 in Springfield, IL to Walter E. and Helen Peters Groesch. His parents and one brother John Groesch preceded him in death.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Lisa; his beloved children; one son, Scott (Kathy)Groesch of St. Louis, MO; one daughter, Erica Groesch of Springfield, IL. three grandchildren Alexander, Andrew and Anna; two brothers, George (Kathy) Groesch of Springfield, IL; Nick Groesch of Chambersburg, IL ; two sisters, Jean (Ernie) Pickett of Curran, IL ; Karen (Mick) Hudson of Decatur, IL.; eight nieces and nephews.
Walter graduated from Lanphier High School in 1960 and spent two years at Springfield Junior College in Illinois. He joined the US Air Force in September of 1962 and was honorably discharged in 1966. After the Air Force, he attended Illinois State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1969. He married Lillian R. “Lisa” Patronik at Sts. Peter and Paul Church on July 12, 1969. He became a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the State Illinois. Two years later he joined the Springfield Police Department. During this career he advanced to the rank of detective, superintendent of the uniform division and deputy director of administrative services. During that time he earned a Master of Arts degree from Sangamon State University. He took an Administrative leave from the Police Department as a detective and served as a police consultant with the Illinois Law Enforcement Commission. Upon returning to the Springfield
Police Department he was appointed Administration Assistant to the Chief of
Police. He was later appointed Deputy Director of the Uniform Division and ultimately Deputy Chief of Administrative Services. In 1980 he took a position as an Adult Division trainer with the Illinois Department of Corrections. During that time he was actively involved and assisted in Lincoln Fest, Special Olympics and Air Rendezous. In 1984 he was promoted to the Superintendent of the Training Academy. In 1989, he earned his Ph.D. in Occupational Education from Southern Illinois University. In 1995 he was promoted to Assistant Warden of Programs at Taylorville Correctional Center. In 1997 he became Assistant Warden of Operations and in 1999 he was promoted to Warden.
Athletics were an important part of his life, winning many awards as a long distance runner, golfing, bowling and tennis. He additionally received awards in sharp shooting which he could commonly refer to himself as a “one shot” hunter. He enjoyed gardening, his horses and sparing with his grandchildren. His passion was the outdoors. He was a member of the American Legion, The Sister Cities Association of Springfield and the International Police Association.
Visitation: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Monday, June 18, 2012 at Staab Funeral Home with Prayers at 4:00 p.m.
Funeral Service: 10:30 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at St. Aloysius Church with Reverend Thomas Donovan officiating.
Burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail. The family request Memorial contributions be made to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital or Special Olympics.