Walter E. Ershow, 89, died Jan. 9, 2013. Born in Newark, he raised his family in West Orange, and had also resided in New York City and East Hampton, N.Y.
Mr. Ershow worked at Reinfeld’s, the family meat business in Newark, and then in industrial sales.
He graduated from Weequahic High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College.
He was commissioned a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force after studying at Virginia Polytechnic University. An aerial combat veteran of World War II, he served as a radar navigator and bombardier with a B-17 bomber squadron, completing multiple missions over northern Africa, southern Italy, Germany, and Poland.
Mr. Ershow learned the banjo in his mid-40s and read the Village Voice into his 80s. He was known for his skills as a musician and woodworker, playing blues and folk music on harmonica, accordion, concertina, electric guitar, banjo, and acoustic guitar. A talented craftsman, he carved half hull boat models, and was an expert sailor and fisherman, piloting boats from Maine to North Carolina.
He was an active participant in Veterans of Foreign Wars, and his life story was inducted into the Rutgers Oral History Archives in 2010.
Mr. Ershow is survived by his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline; his children, Abby and her husband Hans Plugge, Linda Ershow-Levenberg and her husband David Levenberg, Donald and his wife Elise Landau Ershow; his brother, Barrett (Sandy) of Vermont; and his nine grandchildren.
Services were held Jan. 13. Memorial contributions may be made to Yad Vashem, Doctors Without Borders, YM-YWHA of Union County, Jewish Family Service of Elizabeth, and Operation Smile.