Walter Dorsey Jr.

[ Age 84 ] Postal worker's passions included jazz and `his beloved Baltimore'

November 19, 2006

Walter J. "Check" Dorsey Jr., a 33-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service, died of cancer Tuesday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. He was 84 and a longtime resident of Lauraville.

He was born and raised in West Baltimore. He graduated from Douglass High School in 1939, where he excelled in mathematics, according to his wife of 54 years, the former Geraldine Mann. He took classes at Temple University and what is now Morgan State University, she said.

During World War II, he served in the Army as a technician in the 823rd Engineer Aviation Battalion. He was deployed to India and Burma before being honorably discharged in 1946.

FOR THE RECORD - An obituary for Walter J. Dorsey Jr. that appeared in yesterday's editions gave the wrong date for his funeral service. It will be at 11:30 a.m. today at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2604 Banister Road. The Sun regrets the error.

After returning to Baltimore, Mr. Dorsey briefly worked for American Smelting and Refining Co. before taking a job with the Postal Service in 1957. At the time of his retirement, he was the superintendent of collections and parcel post delivery for the city, his wife said. In the 1950s, he was president of the Tartars, a civic and social group for black postal workers, she said.

The Dorseys married in 1951 and moved to a house in Lauraville four years later. They resided there for their entire married life.

"He was a down-home person, family man," Mrs. Dorsey said. "He was quiet except when he was talking about his favorite subjects, and then he could talk and talk for hours."

Black history, jazz and "his beloved Baltimore" were some of Mr. Dorsey's passions. Although he said that he didn't like to cook, he made great Chinese food, his wife said. He also enjoyed working in their yard, especially tending the roses, she said. In the early 1970s, Mr. Dorsey persuaded his wife to overcome her fear of flying. "We never stopped after that," she said. The couple traveled to several Caribbean islands, Mexico, Europe and Canada, she said.

A service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2604 Banister Road.

Survivors also include two sons, Wayne J. Dorsey of Windsor Mill and Bruce W. Dorsey of Elkridge; and four grandchildren.

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