470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


Walter C. Tetschner

Walter C. Tetschner

Sunday, December 6th, 2020
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Walter Carl Tetschner passed away from complications of COVID-19 on December 6, 2020.

Walter was a proud first-generation American, born on December 3, 1936, in New York City, to the late Horst and Emily (Deppeler) Tetschner, both of whom had recently immigrated from Germany.

The oldest of three children, Walter grew up in Edison, NJ. After graduating from Metuchen High School, he served three years in the Navy, enlisting at age seventeen. He then obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University. He is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

While in college, Walt married his beloved wife, Carolyn Steed, in 1958. During their 62 year marriage they raised five children. They lived in several towns in NJ, and in 1977, an employment opportunity with Digital Equipment Corp. brought Walter and his family to MA where they lived in Concord, and most recently in Acton.

Walter’s entire career was spent in electrical engineering where he became a leading pioneer in the advancement of voice/speech recognition technology. He was the project director for Digital’s DECtalk, one of the first speech to text products. Walt introduced Karlos the Talking Computer to WBCN Radio in the 1980s and 90s. For the last 20 years he published a well-respected monthly newsletter focused on speech technology.

Walter and Carolyn loved to spend summers at their house on Highland Lake in Falmouth, ME, where he especially loved being on his sailboat and entertaining their children and grandchildren. He was a multi-talented ingenious craftsman, always fixing and improving items around the house as well as for others. He was an excellent wood carver and very talented with stained glass artwork and creating eclectic electronic gadgets and unique furniture. Walt was an avid bridge player, and he and Carolyn made a formidable team.

More than anything, Walt loved spending time with his family. He was an extremely devoted husband and father, willing to silently sacrifice to make sure his family was always provided for.

In addition to his family, Walter had a large group of friends and associates with whom he was very thoughtful and caring; willing to lend a hand, or provide insightful advice.

Walter leaves his wife, Carolyn, five children: (Karen Andrews of Bolton, Frank and Janet Tetschner of Ashland, Eric Tetschner of Ashland, Rebecca and Brent Foster of Windham, ME, and D’Lanor and Jimmy Harris of New Bedford), and 13 grandchildren. He also leaves a sister (Helga Carlton of San Rafael, CA). Walter was pre-deceased by his younger brother Frank, who died in 1955.

In lieu of flowers, please consider paying it forward in Walt’s honor by donating to a worthy charitable cause that will also help make the world a better place.

Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com
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Service Details

  • Service

    Services are private.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to covid-19 restrictions, the family will hold a private graveside service in Woodlawn Cemetery in Acton.
  • Interment

    Woodlawn Cemetery
    104 Concord Road
    Acton Center, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to covid-19 restrictions, the family will hold a private graveside service in Woodlawn Cemetery in Acton.


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