Long a resident of Vienna, Virginia, he was born in Decatur, Illinois on 8 February, 1918. Walter obtained his pilot’s license under the Army Air Corps, Civilian Pilots’ Program while at University and upon graduation from the University of Illinois was commissioned in the Army Air Corps in 1942 serving during WW II as a navigator and navigation Instructor. At war’s end, he piloted, by radio control, B-17 Drones through the nuclear blast clouds to obtain air samples during the atomic bomb tests conducted in the South Pacific. His Air Force career included command of a Matador Squadron in Germany, assignment to Vandenberg AFB during the early years of missile development and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and coincidently, a small role in the movie “12 O’clock High” as the young Captain who was transferred to the “Leper Colony” for dropping his bombs early. He retired after 30 years of Military Service and became the Vice President for International Marketing for Sierra Research Corporation. Upon retiring from that, Walter became a driving force in the Fairfax County Hunt Club and the Hunter Valley Association at his home in Northern Virginia. He participated in over forty years of active fox hunting and established and provided stewardship for a strong, vibrant community association. He loved his family, his horses, his Great Danes and Rottweilers, the Hunter Valley Community and the Washington Redskins.
He was preceded in death by his son, Lieutenant Kenneth Schlie, a medevac pilot killed in Viet Nam, his beloved wife of 71 years, Norma and his eldest daughter, Beverly Schlie. He is survived by his daughter Pamela (Schlie) Ross of Johnson City, Tennessee and his Grandson Walter Russell Schlie of Cherryville, North Carolina. There will be a memorial service at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 212 Sunset Drive, Johnson City, Tennessee at 1 PM, on Saturday, 24 November. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to “The Air Force Aid Society, 1550 Crystal Drive, Suite 809, Arlington, VA 22202”. He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com. Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, 423-610-7171 is honored to serve the Schlie family. This obit was provided by Mr. Schlie’s loving family.