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Walter Henry Docker
updated: Feb 04, 2014, 8:15 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

12/14/18 - 1/26/2014

Walter was an accomplished self taught man who was born in Birmingham, England, and came through Elis Island to Santa Barbara with his family in 1926. One of the generation that worked and expected no favors. Walter learned to fly in the late '30s, Served in WW II, learned to play the accordion and the organ, was always on a motorcycle and raced at Daytona in 1950. As a Master Machinist he worked on "the Gun" at Delco developing the shape used for the space program re-entry capsule, and headed a team that built the wheels for the Lunar Rover. After he retired, and until just recently he was still making parts in his small shop at home, some to help others restoring old motorcycles. As a young man, he was very active in the Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club, and could tell great stories about the Club's New Years race, which was run 1 minute after mid-night, New Years. A race at night, across the dirt fire roads that are Camino Cielo, to Gibraltar Dam, making 5 river crossings, and ending at Happy Canyon. He won that race in '38, '51, and '52. Less than a year ago, Walter was still driving, until recently breaking a hip and arm, which began a slow decline. As soon as he was able, and fiercely independent, he returned to live at home, where he died in his sleep at 95.

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