Walter Lapinsky

   Walt was born on September 4, 1910 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lived in western Pa. most of his life. After High School, he joined the Air Corps and spent a few years at Bowling Field, Wash. D.C. While there he attended George Washington University. When he left the army, he worked for the Postal Dept. in the Regional Office in Pittsburgh. Like so many, he served in the Armed Forces during World War II. He was overseas for 40 months. He set up the army's V (Victory) Mail Station in Iceland. He spent 20 months in that climate and then was sent to London to oversee the V Mail Station in London. He was there during the worst of the bombing of London and lost his place of living several times. As soon as Paris was liberated, he was sent there to start the V Mail Station. After the war, he went back to work for the Postal Dept., working in the Pittsburgh Regional Office, and then was transferred to the Regional Office in Philadelphia. He had many interesting jobs with the Postal Dept. and when he retired, his title was Space Engineer.     

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   While living in the Philadelphia area, he got interested in Lapidary. He took an Adult Education class in making cabs and that was the start of a love affair with stones He joined the Tuscarora Lapidary Society in Media, Pa. and became one of the most active members. He was so active in club activities doing all kinds of Lapidary work, that he was nicknamed Mr. Tuscarora. He competed all over the Eastern Federation and always came home with a blue ribbon. The case he showed the most was in general Lapidary, in which he showed more than ten different types of work, such as sculpting, cabs,, faceting, polished flats, doublets, triplets, commessi (intarsias), spheres, composites, etc. His first love was faceting and he taught many to facet in the T.L.S. Skill center and at the Eastern Federation School at Wild Acres, S.C. He did lots of judging at shows connected with the Eastern Federation, and after moving to Santee, CA, was happy that the California Federation had him judging Faceted Stones.
Walt wrote an interesting article titled Mysterious Prism Designs in the August 1995 issue of the Lapidary Journal. It shows a picture of and tells about a quartz prism that he made. As far as we know, this is a one of a kind. Walt died on October 22, 1989.

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