Honoring a friend with a cap and a swim


LAVALLETTE — The ocean just off Lavallette was dotted with white swim caps on Friday, Aug. 18, as swimmers took to the water in honor of a beloved late shore resident.

A group of more than 50 people gathered at the Ocean Beach Surf Club to take part in a memorial honoring Agnes Walter, 95, who passed away on July 26.

Ms. Walter was a longtime coastal summer resident known for taking dips in the ocean in her swim cap. “It was heartwarming,” said Maria Maggio, a friend and neighbor of Ms. Walter who organized the memorial. “I just couldn’t help but cry to see the support of so many people come around.”

According to her obituary, Ms. Walter was a resident of Paterson who spent every summer at her home in Ocean Beach Unit I, a small beach community that shares a postal code with Lavallette , where she purchased a home in 1949.

Her impact on the community was clear, as dozens of neighbors, friends and family members gathered at St. Pio of Pietrelcina Church in Lavallette for a Mass that packed the pews in honor of Mrs. Walter.

“The turnout was amazing,” Ms. Maggio said. “It was standing room only.”

Friends and family of Mrs. Walter then continued to the beach, where they installed a plaque on a bench memorializing their late loved one. The plaque, reading, “May the wind always be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face until we meet again,” was hung alongside a memorial to her late husband, Francis Walter, and reads, “A man who loved Ocean Beach.”


For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

  • Villager

    Thank you for this story about the memorial swim out for my mother, Agnes Walter.
    She truly was an icon at Ocean Beach, Unit I. She was famous for her bathing cap
    with the chin strap and she would have loved everything about this tribute.