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Walter McInnes was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1931 to Bertha Hazel Andrew and Walter McInnes. He was raised in Colchester, Ontario, a village-type community near Windsor. Walter first came to Alaska in 1949 as a sailor aboard a cruise ship in southeastern Alaska. He attended Central Technical School in Toronto, Canada, where he learned to be a radio operator, and in the 1950s worked in the Canadian Arctic building the mid-Canada and DEW-line radar defense systems. In 1959, Walter came to Alaska to visit his mother and step-father who had moved to Talkeetna from Detroit, Michigan with a group called the "59'ers." In the summer of 1960, he came to Seldovia to work in the canneries to earn money for the family homestead. He later worked as a longshoreman loading and unloading ships at the Seldovia dock. He also worked as a bartender for one year at the Knight Spot bar. Walter McInnes passed away in July 2017.