Former athletic director, coach in Union schools and honored figure in championship scholastic wrestling programs.
Walter Allen Shallcross, 93, of Berkeley Heights, N.J., passed away surrounded by loving members of his family on Oct. 17, 2019.
Walter leaves behind his devoted wife of 68 years, Doris; five children, Kathy, Scott, Todd, David, Tim, their beloved families, including 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Born and raised in Roselle Park, N.J., Walter distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete and student. In high school, he was named All-State in football and baseball and was a runner-up in the state wrestling championships. He was also a member of the National Honor Society. Upon high school graduation in 1944, Walter enlisted in the Naval Aviation Pilot Training Program and was honorably discharged at the end of World War II.
Walter earned a bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers he earned letters in baseball and wrestling and was the leading scorer as a halfback on the Rutgers lightweight football team. He was captain of the wrestling team and captured the Middle Atlantic Championship title at 147 pounds. In 1948, he represented Rutgers in the NCAA Championships. His senior year he received the Manelli Award as the Rutgers athlete with the highest scholastic average.
From 1949 to 1968, Walter was a physical education instructor, head wrestling coach, football backfield coach, and freshman baseball coach at Union High School. Under his tutelage, Union became a perennial state wrestling power. His teams won four state wrestling championships winning 155 matches while losing just 19. He coached 20 individual New Jersey state champions, including three outstanding wrestlers.
During this time, Walter was a much-sought-after clinician and is regarded as one of the "fathers" of scholastic wrestling in New Jersey. When he stepped down from coaching, he received the Harry Lake Award for "Outstanding Contributions to New Jersey Wrestling." In 2002, Walter was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his lifetime of service to the sport.
From 1968 to 1988, Walter served as athletic director of Union schools. During his tenure, Union fielded outstanding teams winning county and statewide recognition, including state championship football, softball and baseball teams. He was an early proponent for the advancement of women's interscholastic sports.
Walter received numerous awards during his illustrious career, including the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association's Sports Award in recognition of his service and contributions in interscholastic athletics in 1985, the New Jersey Director of Athletics Award for his dedication to school and community in 1988, induction into the Region III Wrestling Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Director of Athletics Hall of Fame.
As a coach and administrator he is remembered as a model of integrity, honesty and good sportsmanship. He had a strong influence in the lives of many of his students, athletes, and colleagues.
Throughout his life, Walter was devoted husband and father. He met his bride, Doris nee Mewes, while working at Pierce Country Day Camp in Roslyn. N.Y., during a summer break from college. He would later become a supervisor at the camp.
He raised his five children in Berkeley Heights, N.J., and was an avid supporter at their athletic events and activities. Later, he had the pleasure of watching his grandchildren grow up. Throughout his life, he remained especially close with a group of childhood friends from Roselle Park.
Walter enjoyed skiing, jogging, tennis, reading and listening and singing to music. In retirement, he and his wife traveled widely including Europe and Hawaii several times.
The family is grateful to those caregivers who supported Walter the last few years.
Funeral services will be announced at a later date through Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial in Berkeley Heights.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Walter's memory may be made to the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad.