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Walter W. Topham, 79, resident of Methuen, passed away on February 20, 2018 at the High Pointe Merrimack Valley Hospice House after a period of declining health.
He was born on April 10, 1938, in Lawrence, to the late Walter Binns and Helen (Reidy) Topham. He attended the Mount Hermon School for Boys class of ‘55 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1959. He later earned a master’s degree from Bentley University and became a certified public accountant (CPA).
Walter served in the Navy from 1960 to 1963, as a communications officer in the rank of Second Lieutenant on the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. After his service, he began his career at Haskins & Sells in Lawrence. He formed a CPA firm in Andover with partners, John Privitera and Thomas Fardy, followed later by Topham, Fardy & Co. He was on the board of directors of the First Essex Bank for a number of years.
Walter supported many causes in Lawrence and was a member of the Lawrence Rotary Club, the Holy Family Hospital Guild, and board of trustees of Lawrence General Hospital. He ran in a variety of amateur road races in his younger days. He was a member of the Lanam Club and the Andover Country Club, and greatly enjoyed playing golf with his friends, followed by a cocktail or two at the 19th Hole.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patricia (Kelley); his son Dr. David J. Topham and wife Sarah, of Pittsford, NY; daughter Kris Smith of Merrimac, MA; daughter Leslie Topham of San Francisco, CA; and grandchildren, Nathaniel and Jeremiah Topham and Dylan and Kelley Smith. Walter also is survived by nieces Helen Katchis, Susan Riley, and Lisa Pribonic; and nephews Charles and Peter Pribonic, along with many cousins within the Conley family of greater Lawrence. Walter was predeceased by his sister Virginia Pribonic of Ohio.
Relatives and friends may call on Sunday, February 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dewhirst-Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844. A mass will be held at St. Monica’s Church on Monday, February 26 at 11 am. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Walter's memory to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 or to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, 136 Water Street, Lawrence, MA 01841. We want to thank the staff at High Pointe House, Haverhill, for their care of Walter in his final days.