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Walter Atherton

Friday, December 14, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Funeral Home

Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 11:00 am

Trinity Lutheran Church


Walter Eugene Atherton, 84, of Frederick, MD and formerly of Hagerstown, MD, passed away, Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Born Sunday, August 26, 1934 in Chambersburg, PA, he was the son of the late Frederick McKinley Atherton and the late Ellen Levina (Holstay) Atherton.

Walt graduated from James Buchanan High School and then received his bachelor's degree from Catawba College, Salisbury, NC and his master's degree from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. He was the band director for Boonsboro High School, North Hagerstown High School and ended his teaching career at Northern Middle School. Walt was a member of Hagerstown Elks Club #378, Ali Ghan Shriners, Cumberland, MD, Hagerstown Shrine Club, South American and North American Rod and Gun Clubs, Eagle's Club, Inc. and Moose Club, both of Waynesboro, PA. He was also a member of the Masonic Friendship Lodge #84 and the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, Cumberland, MD, Hagerstown Tall Cedars of Lebanon #95, Williamsport Redmen Tribe #84 and the Maryland Retired Teachers Association.

He is survived by his daughter, Morgen Atherton of Frederick, MD, step daughter, Karin Ann Hansen and husband, Jeff of Whaleyville, MD; step son, Christopher Michael Sasse and wife, Melanie of Frederick, MD; grandchildren, William Fitzgerald Sasse, Karl Christopher Sasse and Josephine Lee Sasse.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Benchoff Atherton; and three sisters.

Services will be held Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 11:00 am, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Avenue Hagerstown, MD, with the Rev. Gregory P. Shook officiating.

Family will receive friends at the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD, Friday, December 14, 2018, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 pm by the Masonic Friendship Lodge #84.

Interment will be at the Boonsboro Cemetery, Boonsboro, MD.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Avenue, Hagerstown, MD, 21740.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Guest Book

I was one of many caregivers of Mr.Walt's at Homewood. While at the City Park one day, the recorded a video of the community band practicing at the bandshell. The following week, Mr. Walt seemed a little anxious one day so I went and got my phone and showed him the video. It instantly calmed him down and brought a smile to his face. I showed him how to touch the screen to play it again. He watched that video over and over and over... When I took my phone from him he just smiled at me and said "thank you". It was the best moment and I'm so blessed to have k own him. My deepest condolences to the family.

JaNell Mason
Hagerstown, Maryland

Please accept my condolences for your loss. Until the time when we are no longer plagued by the pain and sorrow brought on by the loss of a loved one, may the God of tender mercies and of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3,4) provide you with the comfort you will need during your time of sorrow.

Yvette Williams
Hagerstown, MD

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy in the loss of your dear loved one Walter Eugene Atherton. I hope you find the below Bible verse comforting during this time of sorrow. Revelation 21:4 “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

Sunset Beach, NC

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the "Atheton" family, on the lost of their dear loved one. The Bible offers us great hope from the scriptures. Revelations 21: 3, 4 says; " God...will wipe every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away". For additional comforting scriptures please visit

Priscilla Taylor
Hagerstown, Maryland

To the Atherton's Family. I hope this scripture bring some comfort at this time. 1 Corinthians 15:26- And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.+

Memphis, Tennessee

We're so sorry to hear of Walt's passing. We were out of town last week and missed his service. He and Nancy were a wonderful, fun couple and I know Walt was lost without her. Our prayers go to all his family members. He will also be missed by his Trinity Lutheran friends. Rest in peace, dear Walt.....fondly, Judy and Craig Robinson

judy melby-robinson
hagerstown, MD

Walt and Fred were friends for almost 60 years (and mine for over 40). They celebrated each other’s good fortunes and supported each other in the hard times. Walt was such a kind, warm and loving man with such a gentle soul. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.

Fred and Sheri Yeater
Hagerstown , MD

So sorry for your loss. I have him at North High School. My prayers go out to the whole family. God Bless Kathy Gearhart Weller

Kathy Weller
Greencastle, PA

Mori, I have fond memories of all our camping trips together. Your dad was a wonderful man. I am so sorry for your lost.

Carol Lowe
Smithsburg, Maryland

Our sincere sympathy in the loss of Mr. Atherton. Our prayers, Jan Love Wehrle and the NHHS CLASSOF 71

Hagerstown , MD

To the Atherton family: Please accept my sympathy on Mr. Atherton's death. He was my band director at Boonsboro High School. Without a doubt, band was my favorite activity during my 4 years at BHS. I loved going to all of the parades, especially our trip to Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Mr. Atherton was a cool teacher and he did so much to create an outstanding marching and concert band, plus great half-time shows for the football games. I will always have fond memories of band and Mr. Atherton. Barbara Crampton Linthicum, BHS Class of 1964

Barbara Crampton Linthicum
Frederick, MD

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