It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our founder, father, grandfather, and esteemed businessman, Walter J. Socha. We will miss him dearly.
Please see below for Walt’s obituary:
Walter J. Socha (Walt), age 85, of Glenville, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at Ellis Hospital with family by his side.
He was born August 6, 1928, in Schenectady, son of the late Louis Socha and Mary Dubis Socha and was raised on Lomasney Avenue. After graduating from Nott Terrace High School in Schenectady, Walt worked many jobs, one of which was digging graves in Vale Cemetery, to make his living.
Success was realized due to sheer grit, determination and a focused goal of being financially secure. On July 15, 1951, he married the beautiful Sophie K. Kopacki. In the aftermath of World War II, Walter J. Socha began as a mason’s helper, moved on to develop a small masonry company doing sidewalks, stairs, and foundations, and then took the leap to become a single family home builder.
In the ensuing years, Walter and his wife, Sophie, formed Walter J. Socha Builders, Inc. and built approximately 200 houses. Most were colonials and raised ranches located primarily in Clifton Park and Glenville. Two of the notable neighborhoods, still highly desirable, are North Crest in the Moe Road area of Clifton Park and Willow Glen in Glenville.
An astute businessman, Walter realized that the resale benefits of his homes were going to others. He then turned to a new residential option for the Glenville Community and began to develop, build and maintain apartments. Indian Brook Apartments, a 96 unit complex, was his first project. He followed that with the Shady Lane Professional Building, Shady Lane Apartments, Socha Plaza, and Socha Plaza South Professional Office Building.
Today, Walt Socha’s vision is a developer’s vindication … A legacy that will last.
Walter did not limit himself to solitary building pursuits. He gave back to the community and sat on the Zoning Board of Appeals for Clifton Park. He was also very active with the Schenectady Home Builders Association. Walt was president for several years and later was formally recognized for 35 years of service and contribution to the building industry.
It was through the Home Builders Association that Walt had the opportunity to travel with his wife, Sophie, and many of his fellow builders all over the world. Those trips meant a lot to Walt, as was evidenced by all of his photos and the stories he told over the years. He and Sophie also shared a love for the game of golf and belonged to the Edison Club for many years, where they enjoyed not only golf, but fine dining and friends.
Walt is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sophie K. Socha; his three children, Michael J. (Sara Landon) Socha, Lyn Socha-Ruggiero (Lou Ruggiero), and William J. (Shelly) Socha; as well as his brother, Bernard L. Socha (Mary). Additionally, Walter is survived by six grandchildren, Natasha Wyatt, Brandon Wyatt, Zoe Socha, Grant Socha, Grace Socha, and Taylor Socha as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Walter was predeceased by sisters, Gwen Rosenblum and Harriet Koprowski as well as one brother, Fred Socha.
Services for Walter will take place on Saturday, January 4, 2014, at The Church of The Immaculate Conception, 400 Saratoga Road, Glenville, commencing with calling hours from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The celebration of a Memorial Mass will ensue at 10:30 a.m. followed by a private reception for family and invited close friends. A private interment will be held at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Walter’s memory to The Walter J Socha Scholarship, c/o Schenectady County Chamber Foundation, 306 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305 and/or The Church of The Immaculate Conception, 400 Saratoga Road, Glenville, NY 12302. The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Ellis Hospital ICU for their skill, communication and caring.