Walter Barthold, an accomplished civil litigator and community leader, passed away March 10 at the age of 93 at his home in Ridgewood, N.J.
Born in Toronto, he emigrated to the United States with his family as a child and grew up in Winnetka, Ill. He graduated from New Trier High School and served in the 80th Division Signal Corps in World War II as a foreign national. In 2011 Barthold was awarded the Chevalier medal of the Legion of Honor by the president of France for his part in the liberation of the country. After the war he graduated from Northwestern University, then Yale Law School in 1951.
Barthold was director of litigation at Arthur, Dry, Kalish,Taylor and Wood in New York for many years and a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He established his own practice before retiring in 2004.
In 1957 he married the late Denise Buffington (Barthold) and they raised their three children in Jackson Heights and Douglaston, Queens where Barthold served on many local boards including the Douglas Manor Association, Douglaston Civic Association and Community Board 11.
Barthold grew up during the Depression and became a loyal fan of his hometown Cubs. He also re-established and maintained connections with his father’s extended family in Norway, visiting the country on many occasions. He gave many years of service to the Norwegian Immigration Association and the Torske Klubben of New York. Barthold was a regular contributor of book reviews to the American Bar Association Journal.
He was a long-time devotee of the Metropolitan Opera, where he met his second wife, Dorothy.
He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Dorothy Barthold, as well as his brother Lionel (Queensbury, N.Y.), sister Louise (Del Mar, Calif.), his three children Charles, David (Brooklyn, NY) and Nancy (Douglaston, NY), his five grandchildren Ryan, Reed, Julian (New York), Britton, Betsy, his two daughters-in-law, Sarah Dranoff and Peggy (Weber) Barthold, and his two stepdaughters, Heather and Melinda LaValle.
Services will take place at 1 p.m. on April 7 at Christ Episcopal Church in Ridgewood, N.J. His remains will be buried at Zion Episcopal Church, Douglaston, N.Y., at a later date.
Should friends desire, contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to Christ Church Memorial Fund/music, Christ Episcopal Church, 105 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450.