Walter Stiles, lover of all things Manchester and America, has died. His city and country are the richer for his having passed this way.
Generations of Queen City residents will long remember the handsome, older man, with shoulders straight and eyes bright, marching in holiday parades while proudly wearing his U.S. Marine Corps uniform — the very same that he had obtained when he was mustered out after serving in World War II.
His service to the public went beyond the military. He was a valued state legislator, serving on the House Ways and Means Committee. In Ward 2, he was a familiar figure at the polls as selectman and ballot inspector.
His love of city brought him to help the Manchester Historic Association and Currier Museum of Art, among others. His obituary listed many other of the groups that help provide the unseen “safety net’’ that is Manchester. He also was the public face of the City Hall restoration effort.
What his obit couldn’t capture was Walter Stiles as the walking, talking repository of Manchester history that he was; or the many times he would hold forth at public hearings, expressing a viewpoint that only his years of experience could provide.
The “Walter A. Stiles’’ room on the City Hall’s second floor was named in his honor. We bet his spirit is there now and we bet folks who knew him may even say they hear him occasionally in the years to come.