Cover photo for Walter William Dalitsch, Jr's Obituary
Walter William Dalitsch, Jr Profile Photo
1938 Walter 2024

Walter William Dalitsch, Jr

September 25, 1938 — February 21, 2024

Davenport, Barrington

Dr. Walter W. Dalitsch, Jr., one of the last veterinarians serving the Chicago Union Stockyards, passed peacefully in his sleep at home the morning of February 21, 2024.

Born September 25, 1938 in Chicago, to surgeon, professor and Reserve Naval Dental Officer Walter Dalitsch, Sr. and Cook County Hospital nurse Selma (Erdmann) Dalitsch, he grew up primarily in Lake Bluff, Illinois.  Sailing Lake Michigan with his parents aboard their 50-foot schooner Red Arrow, accompanying his father on hospital rounds, and keeping animals on their small farm just west of present-day Halas Hall helped to shape his life passions at an early age:  anything nautical, serving the community, and the well-being of animals.  He also had a keen interest in music with genres ranging from Johnny Cash to Luciano Pavarotti, and the Clancy Brothers somewhere in between.

Shortly after completing veterinary school at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1963 he settled in the Barrington area, apprenticing and making rounds with Dr. William Bauman.  One day while making their rounds, he met a young Carol DeBolt, who while baby-sitting at the farm where she boarded her horse, was sun-bathing.  He tossed her a dime with the comment, “Give me a call if your horse ever gets sick.”  They just celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary last fall, having been married the same day he bought out Dr. Bauman’s practice.

Descended from German Lutheran immigrants, he served for decades as a choir singer and Elder for St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Barrington, as well as president of the Church Council.  For many years he was Chair of the Plan Commission for the Village of Lake Barrington, and was appointed to several terms as a Trustee for the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.  He was a long-time member and officer for the Citizens for Conservation, funded a small park and nature walking trail off of Kelsey Road in Lake Barrington, and served for fifty years as the veterinarian for the annual Wauconda Rodeo and Lake County Fair.  He served a term as president of the Northern Illinois Veterinary Medical Association.

At its peak his veterinary business spanned nearly a dozen counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, and included the last active dairy farm in Cook County.  He was additionally licensed in Indiana and Michigan.  He was consulted on everything from circus animals passing through town, to a pregnant giraffe at the Lincoln Park Zoo.  He voluntarily cared for animals rescued by the Humane Society, and in conjunction with his wife’s wildlife license, nursed countless animals back to health on their farm, ranging from farm livestock to a three-legged white-tailed deer, who was of course named John, and lived to the incredible age of nine.  Also on that farm they kept horses, including a retired Chicago Police Horse, many of whom featured prominently in the annual Barrington High School Homecoming Parade.  Over the years there were mules, donkeys, a flock of laying hens, turkeys, quail, dairy goats, a peacock, a llama, a non-flying sheep, a pig, and a small annual herd of feeder cattle – but never a Norwegian Blue Parrot.  He also had an extensive collection of restored antique tractors, primarily focusing on Oliver, inspired by the Model 70 he grew up driving.

He was a lifelong avid Cubs and Bears fan, a dedicated listener of WGN radio, and over the years a loyal reader of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Barrington Courier-Review and Daily Herald.  He was a fan of WTTW public television, particularly Masterpiece Theater, National Geographic, Nova, the original “All Creatures Great and Small” series, and Monty Python.  Deeply patriotic, he took his family to his hometown of Lake Bluff every year for the Independence Day parade.  He was a regular contributor to the University of Illinois Alumni Association, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, and St. Matthew Lutheran Church.  For the latter he also constructed a cross with tree limbs harvested from the farm, which is still used by the church for special services.  He will be remembered for his impeccable work ethic, attention to detail, expansive fount of local historical knowledge, love and care for individuals, the community and animals, and also the mischievous prankster side to him that complemented his dry Pythonesque sense of humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in a tightly knit extended family.  He is survived by his wife Carol, and sons Walter III (Megan) and James (Heather), to whom he passed on his life passions of anything nautical, serving the community, and the well-being of animals.  He is also survived by three grandsons and a granddaughter, several cousins, several sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law, and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and countless beloved friends, clients and colleagues.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm, followed by a memorial service at 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 16 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 720 Dundee Avenue, Barrington.  All are welcome.

The family sincerely thanks Davenport Family Funeral Homes and St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine or The Parkinson’s Foundation.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter William Dalitsch, Jr, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 16, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

St. Matthew Lutheran Church

720 Dundee Ave, Barrington, IL 60010

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

St. Matthew Lutheran Church

720 Dundee Ave, Barrington, IL 60010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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