MIDDLE RIVER, Md. - He played the harmonica and passed on his talent to his son and grandchildren. Sherman Walden, 57, also left behind a way to live.
"If it was going to be his way to go, it would be saving somebody or at least on the water."
Years ago, John Walden remembers his dad pulling a person out of the ocean and performing CPR. In 1997, he and a friend ran into a burning home in Harford County.
"They ran into the house not even thinking. There was an older woman laying down on the floor. They pulled her up, brought her outside, gave her CPR. And the paramedics said if you guys hadn't been there she would have suffocated," said John Walden.
Walden can only guess his dad had that same selfless spirit on Tuesday afternoon before the coast guard arrived to search for him. A friend jumped off their boat and started to struggle.
"Trish had my dad's shirt in her arms. She said just float Dusty there's a boat coming. And Trish let go of my dad for a matter of moments to help Donna get on the boat. When she turned around he disappeared. He was already going through the water," said John Walden.
Walden's body was recovered two days after he went under. An autopsy will determine what caused his death, but his son suspects a heart attack.
After all, he grew up on the water and was a good swimmer. Walden died just three weeks after his wife died from a stroke.
The family's way of coping is to keep playing his music and marching to the same beat.
"We want to celebrate his life and let him know that we remember him for the good things that he did," said Walden.
The vigil to honor Sherman Walden will be held on Friday night at 7:30 on Wilson Point Road, not far from where his body was found.
There are plans to hold a memorial service for both him and his wife in the next few weeks.
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