Walter Paul Jitner

Sep 14, 1931 - Aug 7, 2021

East Lawn Memorial Park
4300 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA,

Obituary

Walter “Walt” Paul Jitner, a retired lawyer, former naval officer, dedicated father, and husband, died peacefully at his home in Sacramento, California on August 7th, 2021, nearly a month shy of his 90th birthday.
Walter was born on September 14, 1931, in East Orange, New Jersey, to his parents Rose and Walter A. Jitner, and was the youngest and last surviving of his four half-siblings Dorothy, Billy, Jimmy, and Lillian Walker. In high school, Walter was a talented athlete and as a Junior at West Orange High School, his Baseball team won the state championship in 1948, and as a Senior, serving as the Basketball team captain and starting point guard, led his team to win the state championship in 1949. It was in these high school years, and a shared passion for basketball, that he met two young gents who would become true lifelong dear friends, Ron “Barney” Bushwell and Jim “Whitey” Lee. The fun and mischief they created and the love they shared, is legendary.
Walt began his long and impressive educational journey at Seton Hall University. While earning his Bachelor’s degree, Walter worked multiple jobs at night, often splitting sleep between shifts, including one of his favorite jobs at a local brewery.
Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Walter became a police officer with the NYPD, where he took pride in the fact that he never had to unholster his sidearm. Walter left the police force in 1955 to attend the United States Navy’s Officer Candidate School, in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion, he entered the Navy as a commissioned officer and worked on several aircraft carriers as a supply officer. This allowed him to see most of Asia and the South Pacific and cultivated his love for travel. At the end of his service with the Navy, Walter was stationed at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in Southern California.
While there he capitalized on his free evenings by attending the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business where he received his Master of Business Administration in 1960. It was at this time that Walter met the love of his life, Rosemarie Suzanne Martinez, a beautiful and intelligent academic and pianist in Los Angeles, California. At the time of their meeting, Rosemarie was a freshman at Mount St Mary’s College and working at the rectory of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church under the mentorship of Fr. Lawrence Spencer. While in pursuit of Rosemarie, it became evident to Walter that he would need to befriend Fr. Lawrence, as he “mandated” he would chaperone their activities and outings, and a true friendship quickly developed. After only twelve consecutive Friday night dates, Walter and Rosemarie became engaged and married on September 10, 1960.
Together, Walter and Rosemarie created a beautiful family with four children; Barbara Elena, Loretta Ann, Lawrence Spencer, and Lisa Marie. During this time, Walter was a real estate developer and general contractor for Princess Hotels, where he oversaw construction in various parts of the world including Acapulco and Saudi Arabia. Walter then developed real estate projects with Reese Myers Construction, building apartment complexes throughout Los Angeles.
Walter enrolled in the evening program at Loyola Law School in 1968, where he was then honored to be selected for membership in the Saint Thomas More Law Honor Society in 1970, and graduated in 1971. It was during these four years that Walter developed some of his closest and most meaningful friendships with Fr. Richard Vachon, Dean of Students, Fr. Willis Egan, Head of Theology at LMU, and his classmate Harry Zavos, future Loyola Law Professor. All three were consistent and regular guests at the Jitner home, where Walter was able to exercise and refine his love of argument, his affinity for music, and in the late hours, his talent for dance.
Immediately upon the relief of graduating, Walter and Rosemarie made the bold decision to liquidate what they had and spend a year traveling throughout Europe to see the continent, while at the same time pursuing Walter’s avid interest in golf. Fortunately, after some consideration, this included their four children who were able to experience a life-changing trip of visiting and immersing themselves in the cultures of approximately 12 countries. After a wonderful year of travel, including 8 months residing on the Costa Del Sol of Spain, Walter and his family returned to the United States.
Together with his business partners Ron Singer and David Sheinart, Walter co-founded the highly successful real estate syndication company, The Carlyle Group. Walter was actively involved in charitable causes, including, Board member of St John of God Retirement and Care Center, and founded the Rev. Richard Vachon, S.J. Scholarship at Loyola Law School. Walter was always available to anyone who needed his assistance, and amongst family and friends, a common saying was “Go ask Walter”. He was generous to all.

In 1980, in another bold move, Walter relinquished his role as president and moved his family to Santa Barbara, California. Living in semi-retirement, he was able to further satisfy his voracious appetite for reading and collecting art, while rekindling his old love for the sport of basketball. What gave Walter the greatest pleasure with this newfound free time, was his ability to exert extra focus and attentiveness to his children. In Santa Barbara he continued his passion for giving back and was highly involved with; Goleta Boys Club, Santa Barbara Roundtable, Santa Barbara City College, and Santa Barbara Women’s Shelter, amongst others.
In 2000, with an empty nest, and grandchildren in Northern California, Walter and Rosemarie spent their remaining years in Napa Valley and Sacramento to be close to their grandchildren. Walter, amazingly, continued to pursue his love of basketball, as he played and taught daily until the age of 84, and he remained involved in charitable causes close to his heart, he was a founding Board member of Pencils For Kids. In 2013, Walter and his children lost the love of their lives with the passing of Rosemarie Jitner. Walter spent his remaining years splitting his time between Maui, Hawaii, and Northern California. Walter loved his family, was fiercely protective, and incredibly loyal. A man of principle and thought, Walter was unabashedly himself.
Walter is survived by his four children, son-in-law, Steven Dupre, three grandchildren; Dalton Jitner, Devon Jitner, and Coleman Dupre, niece, Bobbie Walker, many loving Martinez family members, and one great-grandchild, Lozen Werle.
Walter’s family would like to give special thanks to his dear friend, Bob Wolfe, whose daily morning visits always brightened his spirits, and the staff at Carlton Senior Living, Suncrest Hospice, and Kolianita Uhatafe for the kind and compassionate care provided to Walter in his final days.
Walter was quick-witted and had the unique and keen ability to tease and touch your heart at the same time. The end of a great generation, Walter is greatly loved and missed.
“The night is young, the skies are clear
So if you want to go walking, dear
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, its de-lovely”
-Cole Porter

Rosary and Vigil Service to be held on Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 5pm at East Lawn Memorial Park Chapel, 4300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA. Reception immediately following Service at Zinfandel Grille, 2384 Fair Oaks Blvd. Sacramento.
Funeral Mass to be held on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 10am at St Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 3232 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA. Burial Service to follow immediately at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA. Luncheon Reception immediately following Service at The Greenhouse at East Lawn Memorial Park.

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Guestbook

  • Mike and Stacey Shudak. says:

    Our hearts go out to the Jitner family . I’ve heard so much about what a special man he was over the years through Retta and reading the obituary tells a story of someone with a very rich and full life. He will be missed

  • Ruth Tooker says:

    What a beautiful life and lovely tribute! So sad to see our greatest generation pass on. What lives they lived and what friendships your father created.
    Love his travels and clearly inspires you and your siblings. Sending condolences to you all Reta! What a life💛💛

  • Stephanie Moncayo says:

    My deepest condolences , to The Jitner Family . Uncle Walter was such a kind and loving Uncle. He would always call me , Stephaneffeneffenie !!! Such a funny guy !!! Also, SUCH A LOVING, COMPASSIONATE HUMAN BEING . Uncle Walter fed our family for quite some time, when our father lost his job. What a Beautiful Soul….

  • bob wolfe says:

    The video tribute and obituary fill in some of the blanks for me. I’ve only known Rosemarie and Walt for 10 years+. Rosemarie and I would chat briefly on occasion but Walt and I only really got to know each other in late 2011 when he came to my rescue over some legal/personal issues. Over the years I marveled at his brilliance and how well read he was. We’d go to Barnes and Noble and I’d have to help him carry the load of reading material he’d choose. We got into a routine of him seeing me working in my yard and calling me over for a glass of wine. That was always a signal that we were in for an afternoon of loud arguments with him coming from one perspective and me from another. Often after two bottles we’d call a truce and I’d stagger home to scan the internet trying to understand his side. A few days later we’d go at it again….and neither of us giving an inch. Oddly, over time, I think we both found ourselves scratching our head and actually listening to each other rather than trying to make our point and, perish the thought, sometimes even agreeing with each other.

    He’d often speak of growing up in New Jersey and the characters he knew. Winning the state high school basketball championship was clearly a source of pride for him. It didn’t come easy since he was suspended a few times. I believe the first time was in junior high when he organized a strike of students vs the administration…and the last was in high school during basketball season for betting (always on his own team to win). Larry, Lisa, Retta, Barbara…..please excuse me if I get some details wrong here. That time the principal called him into the office and told him of consequences for him and the team unless he quit betting. Walt reluctantly agreed…..until the championship game. His guy with whom he wagered (I called him his bookie but Walt said no, it was something else) was an adult who kept bugging him to bet on the game. Walt relented and bet $10 to win. Walt’s team won as he expected but he was still embarrassed at the post game celebration because of a poster sized picture of him receiving his $20 winning from his “bookie” graced the wall of the venue. No repercussions, a game won.

    The morning after he lost Rosemarie he called me with the news. He was calm and collected as he explained what happened and I blubbered like a child. Years later when Rosemarie would come up in our chats, we both became emotional.

    His greatest pride is his family…..all of ‘em……..it is clear why. They share the best traits of both Rosemarie and Walt….successful, compassionate, incredibly intelligent, driven….kids and grand kids alike. It’s an honor to know them.

    I miss Walt and Rosemarie. Cheers to them both. Their legacy is their family and that would make anyone proud. RIP my friends.

  • Al and Pearl Martinez says:

    Saddened to hear of Walter’s passing may God grant you healing for your sorrow and pain our deepest condolences

  • Toni says:

    My sincerest sympathy!
    I am sure that mother is I. heaven seven with joy, that her true Love decided to join her! I know that the pain of having him passed is a painful one! I am sure have occasions in which you’ll remember them! I miss my parents to this day, but find comfort in knowing that they are together, with rest of family! As I told Retta, at night when you are missing them, look to the sky! if you a number of star’s altogether and they represent #of family members, talk to them! I find that very relaxing and comfortable, MY LOVE TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY! GOD BLESS YOU!😚❤🌷

  • Clemmy Closson says:

    Sending love, strength and peace at this heartbreaking time.
    What an extraordinary man!
    All my best
    Clemmy

  • LETICIA MARIA PANIAGUA says:

    My deepest condolences, to The Jitner Family.
    May his beautiful memories comfort you.

    God Bless you all!

    Tisha Paniagua

  • Debbie Martinez Ramos says:

    My deepest condolences and sympathy, to the JITNER, family!
    May uncle Walter, Rest In Peace !
    May God grant you’ll peace and love at this difficult time.
    Sending, you’ll big hugs.
    May God Bless you!!! 🕊🕊🕊

    Debbie Martinez Ramos

  • The Shiangs says:

    Sending condolences and much love to the Jitner family. You were so fortunate to have your dad and he was fortunate to have children who loved him so much. I think that is really the most important achievement in the end.

  • Olivia Paniagua says:

    My condolences to the Jitner family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you hugs and much love.

    Olivia

  • Maria Shalako says:

    My deepest condolences and sympathy to the Jitner family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your father was a wonderful man and shall be missed. May your memories of him comfort you now and always. God bless and sending Barbara, Retta, Larry and Lisa all my love.
    Maria “Tetete” Shalako

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