Wednesday, October 26 , 2016, 5:50 am | Fog/Mist 56º

Posted on February 4, 2014 | 9:40 a.m.

Walter Docker of Santa Barbara, 1918-2014

Source: KC Kenzel

Walter Henry Docker died Jan. 26, 2014. He was born Dec. 14, 1918.

Walter Henry Docker
Walter Henry Docker

Walter was an accomplished, self-taught man who was born in Birmingham, England, and came through Ellis Island to Santa Barbara with his family in 1926, one of the generation who worked and expected no favors.

Walter learned to fly in the late 1930s, served in World War II, learned to play the accordion and the organ, was always on a motorcycle and raced at Daytona in 1950.

As a master machinist, he worked on "the Gun" at Delco developing the shape used for the space program re-entry capsule, and headed a team that built the wheels for the lunar rover. After he retired, and until just recently, he was still making parts in his small shop at home, some to help others restoring old motorcycles.

As a young man, he was very active in the Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club, and could tell great stories about the club's New Year's Eve race, which was run one minute after midnight. It was a race at night, across the dirt fire roads that are Camino Cielo, to Gibraltar Dam, making five river crossings and ending at Happy Canyon. He won that race in 1938, '51 and '52.

Less than a year ago, Walter was still driving, until recently breaking a hip and arm, which began a slow decline. As soon as he was able, and fiercely independent, he returned to live at home, where he died in his sleep at 95.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >