Maurice E. Wallerson died the evening of Feb. 24, 2019, after a valiant battle against colon cancer.
Maurice, born in London, England, moved to the U.S. as a teenager to learn to fly airplanes, which became his passion and career. During his transition to the U.S., he was reared by his mother, grandfather Alexander Wallerson, and aunt and uncle Ethel and John Beckles. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, where he studied aeronautics and architecture. While there, he was on the cross-country team, and was an avid player of soccer, and cricket as well.
He attended the Academy of Aeronautics in Queens, and completed his first solo flight at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. To build his flying hours, he was a personal pilot for architect Toshihiko Sakow, one of the designers of balloon and airship exhibits at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. He continued his flying with the General Foods Corp., and then flew for passenger airlines New Air and Eastern Airlines. He spent the rest of his career with FedEx, domiciled in Anchorage and Los Angeles as a captain on an MD-11 airplane.
His “need for speed” extended outside the cockpit. He was an avid skier, cyclist, sportscar driver and motorcyclist. He followed the Formula 1 racecar circuit, and a highlight of his life was meeting the current Formula 1 racecar champion and fellow Brit, Lewis Hamilton. Although he loved flying and seeing the world, his fondest memories were of simple get-togethers with family and friends.
Maurice is survived by Dena Porter Wallerson, his wife of 35 years, his mother Catherine Wallerson, and countless members of the extended family and dear friends.
A celebration of his life will be held in the spring in New York City, and one on Martha’s Vineyard this summer. In lieu of donations, Maurice would have loved if you “pay it forward” to help someone in need, as he would have done.
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