Vernon Wallenta, Sr, 74, of Sandy Hook died November 17. He was born October 9, 1943, in New London. Mr Wallenta grew up near Fairfield Beach, where he found his love of nature, the ocean, and fishing. He attended Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport, where he met his high school sweetheart and wife of 53 years, Barbara. He served in the US Air Force in the early 1960s, and after his discharge Mr Wallenta was employed as an electronic engineer, retiring at the age of 49.