On March 17th, 2021, Walter Olenderski, age 36, passed away peacefully in the arms of his parents after a long battle with mitochondrial disease.
Walter was a true outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. His most memorable adventures included fishing trips in 2002 and 2003 to remote wilderness areas in northern Minnesota and Canada with his Dad, Uncle Mick and cousin Andy. Leaving civilization behind to paddle a canoe and live in a tent 10 miles from the nearest dirt road created many memories that would sustain Walter during the tough times ahead.
Walter graduated from Manheim Central High School in 2003 and from York Technical Institute in 2005 with an Associate Degree in Business and Marketing. He was ready to enter the business world but mitochondrial disease drastically changed his plans.
Mitochondrial diseases are rare and there is no known cure. Despite many setbacks, life-changing symptoms and hospitalizations, Walter's sense of humor and his amazing perseverance in the face of adversity continues to inspire everyone who spent time with him. Walter was never afraid to flirt with a pretty girl in a boyish, charming way that always kept them laughing.
Always ready for a fishing trip to a local pond, Walter refused to let being confined to a wheelchair interfere with a lifelong passion for fishing. No matter who he fished with, Walter was usually the guy who caught “the big one”. Sports and music were also a staple in Walter’s life and he bonded with family and friends over discussions about the recent Eagles and Flyers games or new songs and artists to listen to.
Walter's faith in God was strong, often praying for others instead of himself. Until we meet him again, Walter will be sorely missed by family and friends who will always remember the way he enjoyed life to the fullest in the good years, and the calm, courageous way he faced the challenges of the tough years.
Surviving are his parents: Ken and Kim (Stansell) Olenderski of Lititz, a sister, Lisa wife of Emerson Kovalanchik of Okatie, S.C., paternal grandmother, Elaine C. Olenderski and maternal grandparents: Joan and Gerald Stoltzfus. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Walter J. Olenderski, maternal grandfather, Ronald Stansell and uncle, Larry Stansell.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Walter’s Celebration of Life Service at Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church, 44 East Orange Street, Lititz on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Friends may visit with the family at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 AM until the time of service. Masks and social distancing required. Interment will be private. Those desiring may send contributions in Walter’s memory to United Disabilities Services - Service Dog Program
www.udservices.org/donate/ and choose the service dog program. (Walter loved dogs!) or MitoAction
www.mitoaction.org/join-the-cause/giving/donate/ and choose a fund to donate to.