Obituary of Walter J. Weney, Jr.
S&W PERFORMANCE GROUP OWNER & FOUNDER, WALT WENEY, PASSES at AGE 84
Devoted Husband, Father, Businessman and Drag Racer
Spring City, PA – May 15, 2020 – The Weney family announced devoted husband, father of four children, accomplished businessman and drag racer, Walter Weney Jr., ran out of horsepower and passed away peacefully on May 15th, 2020.
Walt was born in Philadelphia, February 23, 1936. Raised in Spring City PA. Graduated from Spring City High School. He worked for his father doing roofing and then at Palladino Bros. At an early age he was determined to make his mark on the world. Weney was 22 years old when he teamed up with friend and racing partner, Jim Amole, to launch S&W Speed Shop, in 1959. They quickly became recognized for producing state-of-the-art drag racing chassis and components. The sport continued to grow and so did S&W, by 1964 they were able to move their speed shop out of Walt Sr.’s 15 ft. x 20 ft. basement garage of his father’s roofing business, into the first of three stand alone S&W Race Cars & Components manufacturing facilities. In addition to building his company, Walt won many races, championships and set drag racing records from the 1950’s until the early 1980’s. He was also the recipient of numerous racing industry achievement awards. In 1994, Weney expanded S&W to its current 27,000 sq. ft. size and continued to add new equipment and technologies, until his retirement in 2005. Even though he ‘handed the keys’ to the next generation, Walt continued to lend support from behind the scenes and attended the drag races whenever he could. He credited much of his success to his wife of 66 years, Vonda, their children, talented employees, business partners and loyal customers.
“My father committed himself to everything he decided to do. His true passion was drag racing and that was the driving force behind building our family business brick-by-brick,” stated daughter, Terri (Weney) Gdowik. “He was always on-the-go with running S&W, traveling to the races and managing his other commercial and residential investment properties. Our family is very proud of his accomplishments and grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at home, at work and at the races.”
Along with building a racing business and racing, Walt had many accomplishments: Owning carwashes, a real estate business, pilots license, owning a plane, scuba diving, owning sailboats and then motorboats, traveling the Intercoastal waterway to Florida in one of his boats, the list goes on, he lived life to the fullest. His proudest accomplishment was marrying his high school sweetheart and being together for 66 years.
Walt is survived by his wife Vonda, his three children; Gary, Terri and Michael. Walt was preceded in death by his son, Scott. Also, seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, daughter-in-laws, Candi Weney, Marlene Weney, son-in-law Mike Gdowik, sister Elaine (Weney) Dinnocenti, her husband Victor and nieces and nephews.
Services will be private for family members and a celebration of Walt’s life will take place at a later date. All arrangements are being handled by Shalkop, Grace & Strunk Funeral Home, Spring City, PA. Online condolences can be made at www.sgsfuneralhome.com.