Robert A. Walkling died on March 24, 2022, in Brunswick, ME
(The following was provided by the Portland Press Herald on April 1, 2022)
BRUNSWICK – Robert Adolph Walkling, 90, died peacefully at home after a brief illness, with his family around him. He was born in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1931, to Adolph Augustus Walkling and Marian Ware Walkling, and grew up in Cynwyd, Pa., attending Lower Merion High School and Swarthmore College (class of 1953). He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 1962, specializing in Acoustics, and moved to Brunswick to teach at Bowdoin College (1963–70) and then the University of Southern Maine (1970–2005). In 1959, he married Julia Robinson, of Hanover, N.H., and the couple had two children, Andrew and Ellen. Originally raised in the Quaker tradition, Bob later became an Episcopalian and an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick as a lay reader, eucharistic minister, and member of the choir and Healing Prayer team. He was also closely associated with the St. Brendan the Navigator church, Deer Isle, Maine, while enjoying his family’s cabin on Penobscot Bay. In addition to church activities, he played bassoon and piano, and was an avid singer, performing over the years with the Brunswick Choral Society, Longfellow Chorus, Choral Art Society, Rachmaninoff Choir, Surry Opera, Bowdoin College Chorus, and Oratorio Chorale. His distinctive deep bass voice was instantly recognizable to all who heard it. He also had a mischievous theatrical streak, memorably playing the roles of Old Adam and Dick Deadeye in the Brunswick Choral Society’s productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Ruddigore” and “H.M.S. Pinafore.” He enjoyed attending concerts, traveling, and reading about science, and delighted in toys that demonstrated the principles of physics. He was blessed to have remained physically active throughout his life, and was splitting firewood the day he fell ill. He was predeceased by his elder brother Richard. He is survived by his wife; his children; his grandchildren George, Julia, and Rebecca; his son-in-law Roger, son’s partner Lakshmi; sister-in-law Alice; and six nieces and nephews and their families.