LOUDONVILLE - Walter F. Uccellini, 67, entrepreneur and real estate developer, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in an airplane accident.
Born Jan. 9, 1945 in Mineola, he was the son of the late Louis D. Uccellini and Margaret A. Isemann Uccellini and loving husband of Kathryn Resch Uccellini of Loudonville and the late Sheila Ryan Uccellini of Troy.
Raised in Bethpage, he graduated from Bethpage High School in 1963 and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning a bachelor's degree in management in 1969 and a master's degree in finance and computer science in 1971.
Walter founded The United Group of Companies, a real-estate finance and development company, in 1972, and continued to grow the company into a national organization with a long history of successful, award-winning projects, both in the Capital District and across the country.
Walter was a man who was devoted to his family, and they were a source of deep joy to him. His five grandchildren, to whom he was known as "Bopa," knew a kind-hearted playmate whose infectious laugh brightened their lives and dried their tears. He loved to playfully tease his children, grandchildren, brothers, loved ones, friends and employees. Those who knew and loved him reveled in his witty nature. He was a son, brother, husband, father and uncle whose love was unconditional.
Walter's laugh and infectious personality will be remembered by all forever. He brought joy and laughter to every room he entered. He was an avid New York Giants and Yankees fan and enjoyed many special moments with his family at the World Series and Super Bowls. He was a passionate explorer, whose lifetime of travel, skiing, flying and adventure spanned all seven continents, exotic destinations such as Italy, Israel, Ireland, Zermatt and Alaska and included visits to the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China and Red Square in Moscow. He loved Lake Placid and the Adirondacks, and brought family and friends to the 1980 Olympics. He loved golfing, both with his "buddies" from the Country Club of Troy and the Hideaway Beach Club, and at landmark courses such as St. Andrews in Scotland and Ballybunion in Ireland. He also loved spending time at home in his garden planting and growing vegetables for his family, friends and the neighbors.
Walter was a strong man, a truly inspirational figure and a trusted leader. He was a visionary who had a unique ability to see opportunity and create beautiful spaces where people love to live, work and play. Walter was exceedingly devoted to his business and all of the employees who work at The United Group, treating them like family. His profound generosity and exuberance for life will be missed by all who knew him and never forgotten.
Walter was an active supporter of RPI and its fundraising efforts. He served as a member of the Board of Overseers for The Lally School of Management & Technology, the RPI New Century Campaign, the RPI Council and the Friends of the Folsom Library Committee. He also served on the Boards of St. Gregory's School for Boys and the Colonie Senior Service Center. He was a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management and was the Capital Region's inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He was a member of The Fort Orange Club of Albany, The Country Club of Troy, The Lake Placid Club, The Island Country Club of Marco Island, Fla., and the Hideaway Beach Club of Marco Island.
Survivors, in addition to his wife Kathryn, include three children: Michael (Aimee) Uccellini of Brunswick, Jessica (Erik) Steffensen of Chicago and Tyler Uccellini of Minneapolis; five grandchildren: Gabriella Uccellini, Ryan Uccellini, Isabelle Uccellini, Charlotte Steffensen and Audrey Steffensen; two brothers: Louis W. Uccellini of Columbia, Md., Thomas H. Uccellini of Troy; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Walter was predeceased by his father, Louis D. Uccellini; his mother, Margaret A. Isemann Uccellini; his brother, Charles L. Uccellini; and his loving wife, Sheila R. Uccellini.
He was a great son, brother, husband, father and friend. He will be missed by all.
A Mass of Christian burial was held Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Sacred Heart Church, Pawling Avenue, Troy. The McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home at the corner of 109th Street and Third Avenue, Lansingburgh was in care of arrangements. Cremation was scheduled to take place at Gardner Earl Crematorium.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the following charities: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, online at www.nationalmssociety.org/donate, by phone 1-800-344-4867, or by mail to National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163; The Autism Society of America, online at www.autism-society.org/donate, by phone 1-800-328-8476, by mail to Autism Society, 4340 East West Hwy. Suite 350, Bethesda, MD 20814.