Walter "Bucky" Symanski

July 31, 1944 ~ November 26, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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Walter “Bucky” Symanski, 79, of Milford, entered eternal rest on November 26, 2023, with his loving family by his side. He was reunited in time to celebrate the holidays with his beloved wife of 56 years, Judith “Judy” Symanski, as well as his parents, the late Raymond and Viola (Porter) Symanski.

Bucky was a Milford “beach kid” through and through. He was born at home around the corner from Walnut Beach where he grew up with his 5 siblings above the family business, the “Hometown Bakery.” Young love then lured Bucky over to the shores of Fort Trumbull where Judy would spend summers with her mom and dad. The name of her father’s first beach cottage was called “Lucky Break,” and Bucky once remarked that it was the luckiest break for HIM because that cottage brought Judy into his life. Summers filled with sandcastles, carousel rides, frozen custard, and roller skating at Smith’s Wonderland cemented Bucky and Judy’s love for each other. Following a brief separation when Bucky served overseas in the Airforce, he returned home, and their 63-year love story resumed with a proposal. Fittingly, the “beach kids” danced to “A Summer Place” at their wedding, and decades later they would still enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk where they had fallen in love in their youth.

Bucky was a graduate of Milford Academy and spent over 40 years working as a structural steel supervisor for Ironworkers Local 424. In his spare time, he was also a terrific athlete (enjoying many summers playing softball for his favorite hometown haunt, the Redwood Restaurant); a fantastic cook (Bucky’s stuffed mushrooms are legendary!); a doting animal lover (his kitty-companions and grand-pups were all spoiled rotten.); and an avid fisherman (Bucky had the sea in his soul. He was a fixture at the local beaches in his never-ending quest to catch the “The Big One!”). He relished the opportunity to share these personal passions with others and spoke proudly of his professional career and the many skyscrapers he had a hand in building. 

But, by far, the thing that Bucky was most proud of building, was his family. His love for his three daughters ran deep until his very last breath. He welcomed his sons-in-law with joy, and a touch of relief when he was, at last, no longer outnumbered by “his girls.” He was a much-loved “baby brother” and a treasured “Uncle Buck.” But it was the title of “Grandpa” that brought him the most joy. Bucky shined brightest in his later years as he lovingly assumed this role and shared countless treasured traditions with his grandkids – including decades of family vacations at his cherished Chalk Pond “happy place,” where later this summer his ashes will join Judy’s ensuring that both Grandma and Grandpa will forever be a part of the fun.

Bucky died as he lived – surrounded by love. He is survived by his children, Tracy (Kenneth) Fratarcangeli, Janis (Frank) Tondora, and Tiffany (Alex) Beck; his grandchildren, Alyssa (Sean) Keating, Nicholas (Emma) Fratarcangeli, Caleb and Rylee Tondora, and Greyson, Dylan, and Wyatt Beck; his siblings, Virginia “Lee” Ross, and Roy, Jan, and Mary Symanski; and his many nieces and nephews. Bucky was predeceased by his siblings Alan “Butch” Symanski, Judith (Richard) Schwarzenberg, and Al Ross.

Friends and family may call from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 BROAD ST., MILFORD, CT. His family will share memories of Bucky in a brief memorial service beginning at 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Senior Paw Project to help keep fur-babies and their caregivers together until the end.


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