In Memory of





Obituary for Walter J. Makiej Sr.

Walter J. Makiej, Sr., 96, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at the D'Youville Life and Wellness Community in Lowell. Born July 12, 1927, in Clinton, MA, he was one of ten children of the late Wadislaw “Walter” and the late Bronislawa “Bridget” (Krysiak) Makiej and moved to Lowell at an early age. He attended St. Stanislaw Grammar School, the first Polish parochial school in the Archdiocese of Boston and was a graduate of Lowell High School.

Mr. Makiej served in the US Navy as a Seaman Second Class on the USS Caelum, a Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, he earned his bachelor's degree from Merrimack College, graduating in the school’s inaugural class.

He married the love of his life, Vaia Basdanes in August of 1952. He worked as a salesman, and then became a social worker for the Public Welfare Department in 1958. Prior to his retirement, Walter worked for the United States Postal Service at the North Reading Distribution Center.

In his youth, Walter was a softball player and a professor of the “rise ball” pitch. A great sports fan, he loved coaching his sons in baseball and basketball. He was a member of the Dom Powlski Polish Club where he socialized and danced the polka. A creator at heart, he was fascinated by how things work, including his car which he liked to service himself. He enjoyed problem solving by inventing things and trying to market what he developed.

Walter was a proud member of the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Andover where his son Fr. Chris serves as priest. He was a skilled gardener and shared his plants with family and friends. A dedicated family man, Walter loved visiting with his children and grandchildren, especially for holiday meals and family celebrations.

Walter is survived by loving wife Viola "Vaia" (Basdanes) Makiej having celebrated 71 years of marriage. He was sadly predeceased by siblings Helen Price, Veronica Wilson, Peter Makiej, Joseph Makiej, Francis Makiej, and John Makiej, and is fondly remembered by brothers Chester and Raymond Makiej and sister Julia. His memory will be cherished by son Walter, Jr. and his wife Maura (Hanley), son Fr. Christopher Makiej and wife Presbytera Katerina (Sitaras) Makiej, son John and wife Lynn (Webster) all of Andover and son Paul of Lowell. “Papu” will be greatly missed by grandchildren Eliana and Nicholas Makiej of Dracut, Nicholas and wife Julianna (Schlabig) Makiej, Michael G. Makiej, John and Michael J. Makiej, and Jack and William Makiej, all of Andover. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 9:30-11:30 am at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 71 Chandler Rd., Andover. His Funeral Service will begin at 11:30 am. Interment to follow in Westlawn Cemetery, Lowell. Those wishing may make contributions in Walter’s name to Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 71 Chandler Rd., Andover, MA 01810.