Walter J. Overend

Born: Fri., Feb. 27, 1920
Died: Fri., Oct. 28, 2005

- Service details not available -

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


Walter J. Overend Walter J. Overend, age 85, died at Portsbridge Hospice on Friday, October 28, 2005 following a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on February 27, 1920, in Portland, Oregon to Paul Edmund Overend and Ruth Guilfoil Overend. He received a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1955 and a Bachelor of Arts in French from Georgia State University in 1978. During World War II, he first served in the RAF training RAF pilots in Spitfires. When U.S. forces arrived in England, he transferred to the 31st Fighter Group of the American Air Corps and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He participated in the invasion of North Africa, Sicily and Italy, flying air strikes over Salerno, Nipo and Anzio. He later served as Squadron Commander of the 308 Fighter Squadron, flying some 240 operational missions. Lt. Overend was the recipient of numerous medals, including the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the War he was posted to Nellis Air Force Base as Squadron Commander and Deputy Group Commander of the Fighter Gunnery School. His civilian career began when he was hired by Delta Airlines as a Performance Engineer. He worked for Delta for 38 years as Manager of Performance Engineering and Programs. He was instrumental in the design of the DC-8, the DC-9, the CV880, the B-767, the B-757, and the SST. He retained his military career while at Delta as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, operating and flying jet fighters. After retiring from Delta, Mr. Overend became an aviation consultant. For a period of thirty years, he was a member of the SAE [Society of Automotive Engineering]. He contributed to more than twenty aerospace standards documents. In 2004, he received the Colwell Cooperative Engineering Medal for his contributions to the aviation industry. Walter is survived by his wife, Elaine Gallman and six children; Mathew, Mitchell, and Ruth Overend, Stacey, Richard and wife Holly Gallman, and Pennie and husband Michael Harris; his grandchildren; Cambra Overend, Nicholas and Tiffany Blume, McKenzie Gallman and Harry Harris. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his two brothers, Donald and Edward Overend, and two sisters, Patricia French and June Conner. Relatives and friends are welcome at the McCommons Funeral Home, 109 West Broad Street, Greensboro, on Tuesday night November 1st between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Funeral services for Walter J. Overend will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 2nd, at the First United Methodist Church, 202 West Broad Street, Greensboro. The Rev. Richard Chewning, will officiate. Serving as pallbearers will be Al Creel, Bill Phillips, Bob Switala, Ira McKeever, Nicholas Blume and Michael Harris. Mr. Overend will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Christian City, 7345 Red Oak Road, Union City, GA 30291, Ocmulgee CASA, P.O. Box 1586, Milledgeville, GA 31061 or American Cancer Society, 1684 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA 30605. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Guest Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Ann Hughes
   Posted Sun October 30, 2005
My Love and sympathies to the Overend Family. With Love, Ann

maxine and julian may
   Posted Mon October 31, 2005
We have lost a long time dear friend. Our sympathies are extended to Elaine and other family members. We'll always remember the times we had together.

Stephen & Pamela Audett
   Posted Mon October 31, 2005
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of loss.

Martha & George Bartsch
   Posted Mon October 31, 2005
To my darling uncle. I will miss you very much. I always knew you were there if I ever needed help, and I love you. Martha & George Bartsch

Tammy Bryngelson
   Posted Mon October 31, 2005
Thinking of you. Love, Tammy

Connie Hutzell
   Posted Mon October 31, 2005
Elaine, I am so sorry to hear about Walt. Bobbie had told me he was not doing well. I am glad she and Michael will be with you for the service.

Ed Palmer
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
Elaine, my sincere condolences on your husband's passing. You spoke about him so much and with so much laughter when you were here with us. I'm so sorry to hear about it. My prayers are with you and your family.

Lynn & Bob Simmons
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
We would like to express our sincere condolences to Mitch and his family at this special time. May God richly bless you.

   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
Colonel Overend's death is a loss to this nation! I served with him when he was the vice commander of the 482nd Fighter Bomber Wing,and the 445th Troop Carrier Wing at Dobbins Air Force Base. I remember well the significant part he played in the mobilization of the 445th Troop Carrier Wing on the 28 Oct 1962, during the Cuban Crisis! He is a hero! Bobby G. Jackson, Colonel, USAF, Retired

Jesse Creech
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
To the Overend Family, I had the pledge of serving under Colonel Overend's command. My deepest sympathy to the family. Jesse Creech CMSgt (Ret) USAF

Ray Orrie
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
Elaine and family: Deepest sympathy for the loss of Walt. I enjoyed working with him on many Flight Ops/Engineering projects. A great engineer and a perfect gentleman. He will be missed by many of his colleagues.

Bob Pfister
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
Walter Overend was a great man to serve with, both in the USAFR & at Delta Airlines.I was lucky enough to see him in both settings. He inspired those around him to do their best.Thank God for this leadership and encouraging words. Bob Pfister Maj Gen USAFR(ret) Delta Capt MD-11(ret)

Jerry & Jacque Canupp
   Posted Tue November 01, 2005
Mitch: Our prayers are with you your family. May God be with you. Jerry & Jacque

Ron Eulenfeld
   Posted Wed November 02, 2005
I served with Walter in the 700MAS squadron at Dobbins AFB. I was also employed by DAL as a pilot for 30 years & often wondered why Walt was never employed as a pilot. After reading his obit., I realized that he was overqualified. Walter was a great guy. My sincere condolences!

Don & Lamar Collier
   Posted Wed November 02, 2005
I had the privilege of working for and with Walt for a number of years at Delta Air Lines, and later when I worked for the Air Transport Association of America. He was an amazing aviator, and a kind and humorous person. He will be missed.

Louise Cassell
   Posted Thu November 03, 2005
Elaine and family: It was so sad to hear of Walt's death - but what a fabulous and meaningful life he had - so many good things to remember. Louise Cassell

Joseph T. Davis
   Posted Sun November 06, 2005
Walt was a great mentor to me when I went to work as an aircraft performance engineer at Delta in 1965. (Hard to believe it was 40 years ago this month that Delta placed the world's first DC-9 in service!) No one could have asked for a more generous and inspiring example than we had in Walt. His sense of humor was legendary throughout the airline engineering world. We will miss him and will continue to be inspired by the example he set for all of us who were fortunate enough to work with him. Joe Davis, Atlanta

Elizabeth Demoratz
   Posted Tue November 08, 2005
Walt was a great supporter of SAE and the S-7 Committee. His knowledge and participation will be missed, as well as his sense of humor. My deepest condolences to Elaine and the family.