Walter Kempton Jakeman (Jake), 87, of Five Island Lake, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 13th, 2019. Walter was born in Halifax on February 29th, 1932 and was the son of the late Hope Hunter and Walter Stuart Jakeman. From the time Walter was a young man, his talents and accomplishments were nothing short of remarkable. As a teen, attending Queen Elizabeth High School, he was well known in the south end for creative and inventive mechanics, and could be seen driving (and occasionally pushing) friends, in his homemade wooden jeep through the city streets.
Throughout his life, his many building projects included countless dune buggies, as well as mini-bikes, speedboats, motorcycles and windmills. He was a true self-made backyard engineer and mechanic, and there was nothing he couldn’t fix.
Beyond his passion for building, Walter was a fine craftsman and artist. Wood carving, metalworking and carpentry were among his many talents, which resulted in beautiful, high quality pieces of work.
Walter was a true outdoorsman, which led him to enjoy many years of hunting, fly fishing and boating. He also cooperated with Lands and Forests as a nuisance wildlife trapper, and enjoyed taking Eileen and his grandchildren along as he safely relocated many raccoons. He was a competitive skeet shooter and with Eileen, Kenny and Calvin, he enjoyed archery as a hobby. Many summers were spent camping in Sherwood Forest with family and friends and beagles Belle and Jake in tow.
Walter shared his numerous talents and knowledge of mechanics and music with his sons. In the early 70’s, Walter led his family band, the Country Cousins, playing in bluegrass festivals and dance halls, such as the Leghorn Barbeque. In the late 70’s, Walter turned his attention to playing music professionally with the Ladies Choice Bluegrass Band. Although he could play many instruments, his true love was the bass. His musical talents took him on the road playing at bluegrass festivals across the Maritimes, Ontario and Maine. He enjoyed performing in several successful seasons of ATV”s ‘Up Home Tonight’.
During his life, Walter was a lifeguard for the Northwest Arm Patrol, a chief ski boat driver for the 1969 Canada Games, a volunteer firefighter, a licenced ham radio operator and a motorcycle safety instructor. He served in the Air Force from 1951-1954, where he met Eileen, his wife of 63 years. After leaving the military, and making Five Island Lake their home, Walter went to work for IBM for over 20 years, retiring as a branch manager.
In later years, Walter enjoyed a quiet life with Eileen, nature watching from the ‘Jakeman front verandah’, tinkering around the house and even trying his hand at growing giant Dill pumpkins in the backyard. Walter and EIleen’s home was always a welcome place for family and friends to enjoy a cup of tea and the soft sounds of bluegrass tunes playing in the living room. A man of few words and so much wisdom, a cheeky sense of humour, and always a good one liner, Walter leaves us with memories and stories to last a lifetime. Walter was predeceased by his mother, Hope Worthington Hunter, father, Walter Stuart Jakeman, and his wife Eileen (Babkirk). He is survived by his sons Kenneth (Nancy Sullivan), Calvin (Susan Simpson), grandchildren Leann, Samantha and Matthew, sisters Heather (Bowman) and Janet (Jones), many nieces and nephews. An informal social gathering in honour of Walter will be held from 2-4 on Friday, September 20th,in the Ronald A. Walker Funeral Home, 13549 Peggy's Cove Road, Upper Tantallon. Please drop in to remember Walter and to share favourite stories over coffee and food with family and friends. Donations in memory of Walter can be made to Hope for Wildlife.