Walt Kubany, a contemporary of this turkey at Penn State and a fellow Central Florida resident, passed away on August 2, after a long battle with cancer. He was 72.
I was Walt’s neighbor across the hall on the third floor of East Hall E (now known as McKean Hall) at Penn State during the 1964-65 academic year. Walt’s roommate was Vernon “Jake” Krause. Most of Walt’s campus life seemed to be related to ROTC and Pershing Rifles, but he was a huge Nittany Lions fan. Time and tide intervened, as did Vietnam, and I caught up with Walt perhaps 15 years ago — actually he found me via this blog. I discovered that we were once again living in close proximity to each other, now in Central Florida.
Walt’s big thing every year was serving as “commissioner” of a weighted college football bowl pool he called “FOOTBOWLS”. The pool was fun, but what was more fun was his friendly banter via email with his friends and family who participated in the pool. Last year around bowl time, for the first time in many years, I did not receive an email from Walt announcing that he would be taking FOOTBOWLS cards. I asked him what was up. It was then that he told me that he had received an unfavorable diagnosis and needed privacy. It was clear that something very serious was going on, and I respected his request.
A couple of weeks ago, I learned that Walt’s struggle had ended. I sure wish I had been able to spend more time with him. Regrets like that always creep in on such sad occasions. I’ll miss Walt, a truly larger than life character. Rest in peace, my friend.
Walt Kubany was born Jan. 7, 1945, in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania (outside Pittsburgh), the oldest of five children of the late Walter Millen Kubany and Veronica Louise (Severin) Kubany. He graduated from Harbrack High School and attended Pennsylvania State University, where he received his BS in industrial engineering. He then joined the Army, served in the Vietnam War and earned a National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. A few years later, he attended the University of Miami, Florida, where he received an MS in management science, operations research. Over the years, he worked as a leisure, travel and tourism professional, specializing in marketing, operations and finance. He lived the past 40 years in Central and South Florida. Walter was a passionate man who enjoyed sports and finances. He served as a nationally certified throws official for USA Track and Field and NCAA. He is survived by his mother, Veronica; loving wife of 40 years, Sandra; daughters, Kristina (Shaun) Quayle and Karin (Brandon) Crabtree; three granddaughters; sisters, Gayle (David) Hartzell and Linda (James) Duvall; and brothers, Glenn and Greg Kubany.