Dr. Walter Antonow

Published 9:47 am Friday, August 4, 2017

Dr. Walter Antonow, 78, died August 2, 2017, in Oxford. The family will receive friends on Monday, August 7, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the University of Mississippi Museum, in recognition of Walt’s love of art.  A brief prayer service, led by Reverend Gail Stratton and Reverend Penny Sisson, will follow. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Born in Voronezh, Russia to the late Victor and Vera Antonow, Walt spent his early years traveling with his family across Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, and arrived in the United States at the Tolstoy Refugee Camp in 1950.  The family lived in Upstate New York for several years before settling in Newark, New Jersey. Walt learned English quickly, but remained fluent in Russian.

After graduating from high school, Walt attended Newark College of Engineering, but left college to join the Air Force when the military draft began in the early 1960s.  He enrolled in the Aviation Cadet program, successfully completed navigator training, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He married Janice Giacobbe in 1964, and they had a 30-day honeymoon traveling across the country to Mather Air Force in Sacramento, California.  This was the beginning of extensive travels both domestic and foreign.  At Mather, Walt trained in B-52 aircraft and joined the Strategic Air Command with Top Secret clearance.  He navigated on missions to the Russian border and later flew bombing missions and then rescue missions during the Vietnam War. He attained the rank of Captain and received several commendation medals.

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After leaving the Air Force, Walt completed a degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Then he, Janice, and their daughter Laura moved to Oxford, where he enrolled at Ole Miss and completed a Ph.D. in psychology. He worked as Chief Psychologist at Nat Winston Developmental Center in Tennessee and later at the North Mississippi Regional Center in Oxford. In 1987, Walt started a small consulting business, Behavior Intervention Specialists (BIS), which provided training for teachers, psychologists, and others throughout the United States and Canada. BIS trained more than 43,000 professionals in 44 states and 2 Canadian provinces during the next 30 years.

Walt was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening, cooking, and rock and classical music. Most of all, he enjoyed traveling. He and Janice traveled to many foreign countries including Italy, France, Germany, England, Egypt, Turkey, Peru, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Fiji. During these trips, Walt always found the best art museums to visit and the best restaurants for local cuisine.

More than anything, Walt loved his family – his wife of 53 years Janice Antonow, his daughter Laura Antonow, two granddaughters Riki Roederer and Kara Ivy, Kara’s husband Desman, and great grandchildren Jayden and Ava.

Contributions in Walt’s memory can be made to The Pantry Food Bank, P.O. Box 588, Oxford, MS 38655 or The Nature Conservancy of Mississippi, 405 Briarwood Dr. Suite 101, Jackson, MS 39206, nature.org/mississippi.

In honor of Dr. Antonow’s service to our country the flag of the United States Air Force will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit www.wallerfuneralhome.com or call 662-234-7971.