A funeral Mass for Deacon William “Bill” Walbridge was to be celebrated March 31 at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in O’Fallon. Deacon Walbridge died March 15 at age 93.
Born to Robert J. and Helen (nee Block) Walbridge of Walnut Park, Bill attended Nativity of Our Lord School before moving to Ferguson and attending Sts. John and James School. He graduated from McBride High School in 1948.
Drafted during the Korean War from 1951-53, he trained at Camp Pendleton, then served in Korea with the 1st Marine Division, Ordinance Battalion, Ammunition Co. He finished his tour of duty as a recruit instructor with the rank of corporal. He then attended Washington University in St. Louis.
Deacon Walbridge worked for Mallinckrodt’s Uranium Division in St. Louis and Weldon Springs, for Monsanto’s Organic Food and Fine Grains Division at the Creve Coeur Research Center, and retired in 1995 after 25 years in research and development with Petrolite in Webster Groves.
He was ordained to the permanent diaconate on Jan. 31, 1981, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis by then-Archbishop John L. May. He was assigned to and assisted the pastor at the former St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in Bridgeton for 23 years, and then at Assumption Parish in O’Fallon until his retirement in 2006. He served his parishes by presiding at baptisms, funeral and Communion services, teaching PSR classes and witnessing weddings. He also was a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society and served as a chaplain at St. Louis Lambert Airport.
Deacon Walbridge was awarded the Cardinal Rigali Service Award in 2012.
Deacon Walbridge enjoyed world travels and road trips, tinkering and carpentry, movies and live theater, “Seinfeld,” “Cheers” and “The Office,” and he loved his Waffle House and McDonald’s. Intelligent, gentle, sentimental, fun-loving and faith-filled, he loved sharing good times, laughs and stories with everyone he met.
Deacon Walbridge was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Marianne Walbridge (nee Bubash). He is survived by their five children and four grandchildren.
Burial will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.