Walter “Walt” Wagner, age 85, of Starbuck and formerly of Pipestone, died on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at home under the care of his wife and hospice. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 27th at Calvary Lutheran Church in Glenwood, MN, with Pastor Mark Kahrs officiating. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Morton, MN at the Morton Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Walter Edwin Paul Wagner was born on December 2, 1933 on a farm in Rich Valley Township in McLeod County, MN. He was the son of Paul and Emma (Muller) Wagner, and the youngest of their 12 children. At age five, Walt moved with his family to Morton, MN where he attended grade school and high school, graduating in 1952.
After graduation, Walt moved to Pipestone, MN, and worked at Bayliner Marine. He joined the Army in 1955 and was first stationed in Arkansas, then in Chicago, with his final military orders sending him to Hawaii. Walt met Mary Kathern “Kathy” Ehlers in Pipestone and after a wonderful courtship the two were married on November 24, 1956. The newly wedded couple made their first home in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii where they lived until 1957.
After his military service was complete, Walt and Kathy moved back to Pipestone. Walt worked for the Pan-O-Gold Bakery as an engineer for eight years. During his tenure with the company, the family made their home in Fort Dodge, IA where Walt continued to work for the bakery. After moving back to Pipestone, Walt purchased the Sears store in 1967 and ran it for twenty-five years where many of his customers became family friends. After selling his Sears store, Walt worked for Medi-Van, helping others in need by taking them to their medical appointments.
While residents of Pipestone, Walt was an active member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church serving in many different leadership roles within the Church. Loving music, Walt joined the Al Opland Singers and performed with them for many years. Walt and Kathy also spent many hours square dancing and going to old-time dances. Together they built a home two miles north of Pipestone where they raised their young family. Living in the country afforded them the ability to raise animals, including Walt’s passion of golden retriever puppies. In 2002, Walt and Kathy retired and made their permanent home on Lake Minnewaska in Glenwood, MN where Walt spent his remaining days.
In addition to his love of spending time with family and friends, Walt’s hobbies included woodworking, building grandfather clocks, camping, and traveling. Walt loved the lake and spent many evenings and weekends in the boat teaching his kids, grandchildren, and others to waterski.
Walt had a great love for his Savior and Lord. Ten minutes before he passed, he said, “I talked with God and he gave me one more day.”
Walt is survived by his devoted wife of sixty-two years, Kathy; his son, Randy (Lisa) Wagner of Buena Vista, CO; his daughter, Lisa (Chris) Taylor of Little Falls, MN; his daughter-in-law, Diane Wagner (fiancée Kevin Keefe) of Cottonwood, MN; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
Walt is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Emma; his son, Doug; his six brothers, Alvin, Albert, Herb, Eddie, Robert, and Lawrence; and five sisters, Lena Baker, Bertha Schmidt, Bernett Ferbuyt; and two infant sisters.
Blessed be his memory.
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