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Walter Andrew Paroni Jr., 88

| June 11, 2010 4:30 AM

Walter Andrew Paroni Jr. born Dec. 5, 1921, in Berkeley, Calif., to Walter and Dorthea (Roust) Paroni. He passed away at home in Post Falls on June 3, 2010.

Walter and Genevieve Swick were married on Dec. 26, 1954, in Eureka, Nev.   

Walter lived in Oakland and Berkeley during his youth. Walter worked with his uncle and cousin during the summers of 1937 and 1938 on mining claims near Eureka, Nev., and decided mining was the career for him. At 19, he headed to Alaska to work at his grandparents’ hydraulic gold operation above the Arctic Circle for six months.

During WWII, Walt served in the Army Air Force mainly serving as a mechanic on B-17 and B-25 airplanes. After the war, he received a B.S. in mining engineering from the Hearst School of Mines of the University of California at Berkeley in 1950. After graduation, he went to work at the Bingham Canyon open pit copper mine in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked for the California Transportation Department on designing the foundations for the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge for several years. Walter went to work for Eureka Corporation in 1952 working on mining projects near Bishop, Calif., at Cobalt and at the Ruby Hill mine near Eureka (later with Hecla Mining Company as the operator). When Ruby Hill ceased operations, Walter and the family moved to the California Bay Area where he worked in the water treatment business. After several years, he decided to return to mining and took a job with Hecla Mining Company moving to the Silver Valley of North Idaho. During his career, he often served as a mentor for younger mining engineers and engineering students. Walter retired from Hecla in 1986.

Walt and Gen moved to Post Falls in 2004 after living in Wallace for 36 years.

Walter was active professionally in the Society of Mining Engineers of the AIME. He was a 56-year member and Past Master of Eureka Masonic Lodge No. 16, Eureka; member and Past Patron Shoshone Chapter No. 10, Eastern Star, Wallace; member of York Rite Bodies of Elko, Nev.; Kerak Shrine Temple, Reno, and the Wallace Elks Lodge No. 331. He was very active in the Lions Club while living in Nevada.

Walt enjoyed camping with his family. He enjoyed tinkering — doing woodwork and carpentry, as a mechanic and working in the garden. Until the last few years, he was an avid golfer. He spent many hours on his computer.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Genevieve; daughter Andrea Storjohann of Rathdrum; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Howard Kirk, niece Mary Kirk, nephew John (Lorna) Kirk, all in California and nephew Tony Kirk in Argentina.

The family requests memorials to Hospice of North Idaho, 9493 Government Way, Hayden ID 83835 or the Spokane Shriners’ Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA  99210-2472.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19, 2010, at St. Lukes Episcopal Church.

Please visit Walter’s memorial and sign his online guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.

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