Walter Thayer

Walter D. Thayer

1948 - 2023

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Obituary of Walter D. Thayer

Hadley — Walter D. Thayer, 75, passed away June 9, 2023 at his home in Hadley, MA on the land on which he was raised. Born January 13, 1948, he was the eldest son of Richard M. and Florence M. (Mellen) Thayer and was a lifelong seventh generation resident of the family property in Hockanum Village. Walter held a quick, understated wit that was always accompanied by a twinkle in his eye. He was incredibly kind, patient, and caring and did everything he could to help others. Walter was mechanically minded and appreciated any time he could spend working with his hands — tinkering on any new projects, finding or making the perfect tool for the job, or puttering on his classic cars. One of his great joys was casting a fishing line, particularly into the waters off Cape Cod, and he collected poles and gear to support his hobby. He loved playing chess, cuddling with his dogs, and a range of activities over the years such as biking from Boston to Provincetown, kayaking, and hosting epic neighborhood volleyball nights. Having served as a member of the Air National Guard after graduation from Hopkins Academy and trade school in Boston, he built upon his acquired skills with a career in heating and air conditioning. He spent 34 years at West Side Air Conditioning in West Springfield, starting as a service technician, then manager, President, co-owner, and finally owner. An active member of Refrigeration Service Engineers Society for more than 30 years, he later went on to work at Hurley and David in Springfield. He supported his wife, Betty, in her dream to open an adult day health center named Thayercare, which they operated together for 18 years.

Walter will be dearly missed by his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth L (Thayer), along with their children, Joshua Thayer and his wife Melissa Misicka of Medford, Jeremy Thayer of Hadley and his girlfriend Elizabeth Charlebois of Vermont, Jessica Thayer of Easthampton, and Aaron Thayer and his wife Abby of Easthampton. His legacy will forever be cherished by his grandchildren Lucy, Samuel, and Calvin, along with his siblings, Thomas Thayer and his wife Nina of Greenfield, Bruce Thayer and his wife Gail of Florida, and Rick Thayer and his wife Mary of Hadley, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held Friday, June 16 from 5:00–8:00 pm at the Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home. There will be a memorial service at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 17 at the First Congregational Church in Hadley. Burial will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to either the Michael J. Fox Foundation ( or the American Parkinson's Disease Association-MA Chapter ( Please visit

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Visitation - Public

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, June 16, 2023
Beers & Story Funeral Homes, South Hadley
646 Newton Street
South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States