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Snapshot: Walter Motyka

Occupation: When I came out of the Air Force, I was hired by High Voltage Engineering in Boston, about 45 years ago. I’ve earned degrees in engineering and have worked in disciplines as varied as testing Van De Graff accelerators, technical support of NASA projects and the space telescope, facilities management for high-tech companies, as well as strategic planning and logistics for Fortune 100 companies worldwide. We came to Connecticut by way of my being “pirated” away by PerkinElmer, during a lunchtime interview, and I’ve been technical advisor to UniRoyal Corporate headquarters. I am semiretired, but continue to take on specific projects.

Family: I’ve been happily married for 50 years to my wife, Sandy. We have a son, Mark, who was raised in Newtown and who now resides in Hopkinton, Mass., with his wife, Moira, and our grandchildren Shannon and Thomas. It’s amazing how quickly they’ve grown up.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve been here over 40 years, and seen a lot of changes.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to give time to the community, in various capacities. Years ago, I was president of the Newtown Rotary, and more recently, the Fairfield Hills Authority. I’ve been vice chair and technical advisor for the Economic Development Commission, and now I’m a trustee of the C.H. Booth Library, where I hope to help improve the future for young people and seniors. I enjoy lending a hand to my wife’s garden club and I spend a lot of time in our yard. To relax, I like good music. I like classical guitar, jazz, and the oldies but goodies. We go to Tanglewood a lot, and we like good musicals.

Do you have a favorite musical? Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite shows. I could listen to that music over and over again.

Do you have a favorite book? I mostly read nonfiction, the business journals on logistics and materials handling, as well as how-to books on stone walls and landscaping projects.

What is the greatest change you have seen in Newtown? The spiraling taxes. I think the town is losing a lot of good senior citizens, who quietly give back to the town, and who can no longer afford to live here.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? After traveling the world on business, I now look forward to traveling at a more leisurely pace, to places I have not visited for business. This fall, we’re taking a river cruise to Vienna and Budapest.

What is the best thing about Newtown? The seniors who are behind-the-scenes volunteers, to support major organizations, without asking what is in it for them. One example is the library. The library is filled with people behind closed doors, sorting books to raise funds, without any recognition.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? I’ve been influenced by the positions I have held and the companies I’ve worked for. But when I was in high school, there was one individual who ran the science group. He inspired me to be in the technical field. If I hadn’t had that little push, I wouldn’t have gotten into the research and development area. He inspired me to see there are new things out there to be designed.

Do you have a personal philosophy? Continue to give value.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Scotch malts. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect Scotch malt. So far, it’s Singleton, but now you can’t get it in Connecticut or Massachusetts, so I keep an eye open when I’m in other states.

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