Walter Julian Dannenberg passed away on September 19, 2022, at the age of 96.
Walter was born in Macon Georgia on August 20, 1926, to parents Joseph Walter Dannenberg and Clarice Waterman Dannenberg.
Walter was a lifelong Macon resident. In his youth, he wandered the woodlands of middle Georgia - scouting, hunting squirrels and being a boy. He spent summers at camp in Chimney Rock, North Carolina and vacationed with his family in Atlantic City, New Jersey where he fondly recalled the great dirigible airships that passed the coast on the way to America’s cities.
Walter graduated early in his senior year of 1945 from Lanier High School. Like most of his generation, he was enlisted in the war effort. As a private first class in the U.S. Army, he was assigned to a K-9 training unit in Fort Robinson, Nebraska. There, he trained scout dogs and prepared for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. When the war abruptly ended, he finished his military service and then returned to Macon to work in the family business – The Dannenberg Company – a retail store in downtown Macon.
Walter married Agnes Richardson of Macon in 1952. He was a loving husband and caring father of two sons – Richard and David. His favorite weekend pastimes were taking his sons fishing and working with them on projects, including engineering some of the fanciest and fastest Pinewood derby cars ever built.
Walter worked in retail, clothing manufacturing and commercial property management for his long career. After working in the family business, he served as general manager of Burden Smith and Company, another local department store. He founded and managed a successful clothing manufacturing business - Poplar Products – located in the same building as the old Dannenberg Company. Later, during his retirement, he returned to his true calling of retail sales, working as a part time salesclerk at Joseph N. Neel Company and Bowen Brothers, often topping the sales charts. He spent his career working in downtown Macon and was thrilled to see it develop and come back to life later in his life after a long decline.
Walter was a vital part of the Macon community. He served on many boards and foundations including the Macon Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) and the Middle Georgia Lions Club, serving time as president of both of those organizations. Walter was a trustee of Georgia Children’s Home and an active board member of Macon Little Theater and its president for several years. He served on the board of Temple Beth Israel and as its president. He was a long timer Grand Jurist and member of the Tax Board of Equalization. As a proponent of civil rights and a member of the Downtown Merchants Association, he was progressive in integrating the Dannenberg store lunch counter and in convincing other downtown restaurants to peacefully integrate.
Walter never met a stranger. He knew almost everyone that worked downtown and would greet them with a warm smile and a hardy handshake. He was a true conversationalist.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, oldest son, Richard Wilden Dannenberg, and his sister, Lucille Julia Dannenberg Steinheimer. He is survived by his wife, Agnes Richardson Dannenberg, his son, David William Dannenberg, David’s wife, Mary Ellen McCormick Dannenberg, his late son Richard’s wife, Laura Reeves Dannenberg, and cousins, Herbert Greenwald and his sons, Hal and Scott.
Walter was the proud grandfather of nine grandchildren - Richard and Laura’s children Dot (Jake Williams), Ellie, Leah (Bereket Ayele), Madeline and Wil (Stephanie Liu) and David and Mary Ellen’s children, Jacob, Rachel, Sam, and Josh. Walter was equally proud of his two great grandchildren who entertained him in his later years.
Services will be held at Temple Beth Israel on Friday September 23, 2022, at 10AM. The family will greet friends after the service. Donations in Walter’s memory can be made to Macon Little Theatre, Theater Macon, or Temple Beth Israel.
Please visit www.hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s on Cherry Street, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 765 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201 has charge of the arrangements.
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Macon Little Theater
4220 Forsyth Rd, Macon GA 31210
438 Cherry St., Macon GA 31201
Temple Beth Israel
892 Cherry St., Macon GA 31201