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In Memoriam - Capt. Wally Blice

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    In Memoriam - Capt. Wally Blice

    I am saddened to report that Capt. Walter H. "Wally" Blice, died at Baptist Hospital East in Louisville on June 22nd at the age of 94. Capt. Wally retired from Union Barge Line after 36 years of service as Master/Pilot. Following retirement he served as pilot on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE and also for the DQ Company. A resident of New Albany for many years, Capt. Wally and his wife of 68 years, Mildred, retired to Florida some years ago and had recently returned to the Louisville area.

    Capt. Wally was undoubtedly one of the best pilots ever on the river. During his tenure on the BELLE I saw him perform piloting feats that were astounding. Capt. Wally's always friendly and pleasant personality endeared him to the crew and he was an excellent mentor at the time for several of the then young up and coming officers who now follow in his footsteps.

    One pilothouse memory I remember fondly is when he asked me to bring my copy of the book "Towboat River" to the BELLE. Inasmuch as many of the towboats and crews pictured are of Union Barge Line, he was delighted to name just about every person in the photos! And, of course, he had terrific stories to relate about the people and the boats as well.

    Appropriately, flags on the BELLE are at half staff in tribute to a fine gentleman and consummate riverman. A long and two shorts in memory of Capt. Wally Blice.
    Last edited by Keith Norrington; 07-10-2006, 01:48 PM.

    Thanks, Keith, for the news of Capt. Blice's passing. I remember him well from his days on the DQ, and you're right -- an easy-going, nice gentleman. May he rest in peace.


      Capt. Blice was a fine gentleman and pilot. Dad liked working as "Chief" on the BELLE when Capt. Blice was in the pilothouse. He knew how to handle the boat with the least amount of bell ringing needed to get the job done.

      It was also my pleasure to be one of the "Lord high watchmen" on the DELTA QUEEN while Capt. Blice was working over there. In pace requisant.