Obituary: Walter A. Lapham III, 76,

Walter A. Lapham III, 76, of Southborough, died suddenly on Monday, March 19, 2018.

Walter was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and his family moved several times during his childhood, but spent significant time in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he fell in love with the ocean and boating. His parents, Walter A. Lapham, Jr. and Marjorie Hudson Lapham, settled in Old Bennington, Vermont just in time for him to start high school at Hoosac School in Hoosick, New York. He later attended Williams College and Boston University. He served in the Vermont Air Guard. He met his wife, Julie, in Old Bennington. They moved to Southborough in 1984.

Walter loved serving others, and from a very young age worked professionally and personally to assist where he could. One summer while he was in grade school, he and a friend put together a map of Marblehead Harbor and sold advertisements from local businesses to serve visiting boaters; the boys motored around the harbor greeting visitors and passing out the map. After college, he joined the sales force at Paramount Greeting Cards in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he worked for almost twenty years, and later represented several card and gift lines in stores throughout New England. More recently, he worked for Boston Coach and Knight’s Airport Limousine Service, where he enjoyed learning about the lives and travels of his passengers and providing suggestions for places to eat and visit that matched their needs and interests.

Walter actively participated in activities with his family, attending his children and grandchildren’s athletics and activities, and helping Julie at flower shows and demonstrations. He also loved cars, boats, and food. He started flagging at Sports Car Club of America events as a young man and raced his Alfa for several years. The Laphams spent several summers in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed time on the water with his family and friends. No matter where life took him, he’d either have a restaurant in mind or be on the hunt for a culinary adventure, and he also loved experimenting in the kitchen.

He will be fondly remembered by many friends, who will celebrate his life by continuing to tell stories about the ways he helped us out, and kept us entertained and well fed. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Julie Jenkins Lapham; daughters, Leslie Lapham of Salem, MA, and Hadley Horner, who lives in Southborough with her husband, Walt, and their children, Wyley and Finley; and a brother, Harry Lapham of New York City.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the Buddy Dog Humane Society (, 151 Boston Post Rd Sudbury, MA 01776. Services will be private.

(Obituary and photo contributed by family)

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Ton Mulcahy
6 years ago

I have known Walt for numerous years at Knights. He was always a pleasure to work with and be around and will be sorely missed.His personality was do endearing and humerus ,just an all around great guy.My thoughts prayers and condolences are extended to his family. It was truly a pleasure having known him.Godspeed my friend,Godspeed

Rick Leasot
6 years ago

I have known Walt for may years at both Boston Coach and Knights. We also shared a love for Kansas City and as was so Walt he turned my Wife and I onto one of our favorite restaurant in KC, Strouds, where we enjoyed many great meals. My thoughts and prayers to his Wife and Family during this difficult time. Your passing was way too early my friend and know you will be missed by all. my he rest in peace. so long old friend.

Frederica Gillespie
6 years ago

I am deeply saddened to learn of Walter’s sudden passing. He was a great guy and will be sorely missed. His energy and passion were contageous, and he brought a commitment to issues he cared about. I will miss him.

Chris Gilman
6 years ago

I so sad to hear this. I was very little when I met Walt and he was always very kind to me. Walt loaned his race car to my dad for a drivers school at Thompson raceway in the early 70’s. Just now I was updating my Facebook cover image and thought I’d use a shot of that event, with my dad in Walt’s car. I decided to do a search about Walt and found this.

Daniela Zegarelli
6 years ago

Dear Hadley, Leslie and Mrs Lapham
We were so sad and shocked to hear of Mr. Laphams
passing. Hadley, I have so many wonderful memories of your father from our years at Fay. He was such a warm and fun loving gentleman.
Our deepest sympathies
Daniela Zegarelli and Nicolina Sabatini

Clay Johnson
6 years ago

Julie and family:
The first time I met Walt was at a Universal-Sunray
meeting in Baltimore and he always took the high road in
In being polite, civil and professional. He had a great sense
of humor: he would see me and say “you look terrible, are you alright?”
That would really wind my clock! Just funny.
We met up in 2017, during the Philadelphia Flower show at
At Dieners restaurant near Lancaster. It was great to share some
Of the fun stories and laughs.
My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I know you are all heartbroken.
Clay Johnson

Casey Casebolt
6 years ago

That picture is the perfect character image of my man Walt!! Absolutely him 100%
I worked with Walt at Gerson/Universal Sunray and was able to maintain contact with him after he had left the company. Always a joke, always Mr. Polite. I find it rather deja vu receiving this today as just last week I was thinking of Walt and had good intentions to email or call. A work assoc sent word to me just a few minutes ago of his sudden passing.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Walt’s family at this time. “Remember the good times, they help to heal the sorrows.” And knowing Walt there were surely many good times!!
Casey Casebolt
Shawnee, Kansas

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