Walter Mark Eberhart, Jr.

Walter Mark Eberhart, Jr.

Died November 1, 1990

Walter prepared for Yale at Saint George’s School in Newport, RI, majored in economics, and was a member of Pierson and Phi Gamma Delta. Immediately after graduation, Walter joined the family business, Eberhart Brothers, which bought, renovated and managed residential properties in Manhattan. He attended the Columbia University School of Architecture in the evenings, which enabled him to focus on the renovation side of the business.

For his 25th reunion essay, Walter wrote that his career in real estate lasted from 1965 to 1970. In fact, he kept working for the family real estate business of Eberhart Brothers right up to the time of his death in 1990. That misleading chronology may be a sly reference to how dramatically his life changed in 1971 when he married Pamela Shearer. After that, his cousin David Eberhart recalls, “the most important part of his life was family.” Other guys might hang around the office but Walter was out the door at quitting time and on his way home to Greenwich, CT. He and Pamela had two children: Caroline, born in 1972, and Julie in 1977. “He was very, very family-oriented in both directions,” his best friend, John Gardner, says, “both to his children and to his father and mother.” Walter had been raised a city boy in Manhattan, and John was surprised by the ease with which he took to life in the suburbs.

In 1989 Walter and Pam took a trip to Europe without the girls, but he started coughing so violently that they had to come home early. His cousin, David, can remember Walter’s calling to say he’d just had a scan and “it lit up like a Christmas tree.” His health fluctuated over the next year and, during a good period, the Eberharts and Gardners were able to spend time together in Anguilla.
Walter died of cancer on November 1, 1990. His death spared his having to suffer the loss of his wife, who died of cancer in 2004, and of his youngest daughter, Julie, who died in an accident in 2010. “I’m the only one left,” says Caroline.

In the spring of 2014 Caroline dedicated a memorial garden in honor of her father and sister at Saint George’s School in Newport, where they had both gone to prep school. “He was so worldly and so unpretentious and just his own person,” Caroline remembers. “He never had to be the center of attention.”

Peter Barnet remembers: Walter was taken from us shortly after our 25th. He was a gentleman and a good friend. Our days together in Pierson were marvelous as were the years that followed.– sadly, too few.

Robert Leich remembers: Walt was a fraternity brother and so we spent a lot of time together pursuing non-academic interests. I once accepted (against all intuition and advice) a blind date set up by a friend, and (of course) while a nice person the lady turned out to be, shall we say, “less than stunning” in appearance. I lamented this fact to Walt who replied, “Don’t go anywhere public, come to my place and we’ll have a party in our room.” Rescued by a friend, or so I thought, but once there Walt played the same song over and over that evening, grinning at me each time it played. It was titled…”If You Wanna be Happy for the Rest of Your Life…Make an Ugly Woman Your Wife.” Thanks again Walt, you still make me smile!