FUNERAL SERVICES: 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at St. Marys Catholic Church in Two Inlets, MN with Father Thomas Friedl officiating.
VISITATION: Two hours prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
INTERMENT: St. Marys Catholic Cemetery in Two Inlets, MN
SURVIVORS: His wife, Irene; his three children: Ralph (Judy) of Coon Rapids, MN, Rosanne (David) Haupert of Cottage Grove, MN and Jim (Leann) of Park Rapids; his daughter-in-law, Bert Willenbring of Coon Rapids; ten grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren; his three step-children: Jerry Brumbaugh of Park Rapids, Carole Palmer of Ponca City, Oklahoma and Debra (David) Hacker of Menahga, MN; his sister, Rosemary Cooney of Park Rapids and his brother, Tim (Marilyn) Willenbring of Ponsford, MN.
WALTER HENRY WILLENBRING
March 25, 1916 – August 7, 2012
Walter Henry Willenbring, age 96, a long time Park Rapids/Two Inlets, MN resident, peacefully entered eternity on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids, MN.
Walter was born on March 25, 1916 in Richmond, MN to Frank and Mary (Boeckermann) Willenbring. He attended Catholic School in Richmond where he grew into manhood. At the age of 19, Walter’s family purchased a farm near Two Inlets in Northwestern MN. Later, he purchased his own farm nearby. Walter worked hard in transforming the rugged land into a productive farm. For the first 30 plus years of his life, Walter farmed with work horses, something he loved. He bought his first Farmall tractor in 1948, and with a heavy heart, sold his last team of work horses, Pat and Dan in 1950. Walter raised up a fine herd of sows and gilts and bred and farrowed hogs for many years. On October 10, 1939, Walter was united in marriage to Barbara Waldorf at St. Marys Catholic Church in Two Inlets. This union was blessed with four children: Ralph, Gerald, Rosanne and Jim. In addition to farming, Walter was well known for his carpentry skills and performed many construction projects off the farm. In 1972, Walter’s youngest son, Jim joined him in the farming enterprise. They built a new dairy barn with logs they themselves harvested and sawed and ambitiously built one of the largest holstein dairy herds in the area. In 1989, Walter’s life was deeply saddened by the death of his precious wife, Barbara and in January of 2000 Walter also grieved the death of his son, Gerald. In 1993, Walter married Irene Brumbaugh at St. Peters Catholic Church in Park Rapids. At that time Walter sold the farm to Jim and he and Irene made their home in Park Rapids. Throughout his life time, Walter remained engaged in his community. He was a man of faith and had been a member of St. Marys Catholic Church in Two Inlets since the age of 19. He was a charter member of the St. Marys Knights of Columbus and in addition was a life time member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and recently received his 75 year membership award. He served as a member of the District 303 School Board for many years. Walter also served as the Two Inlets Township Clerk and Assessor for many years. He had a deep appreciation of music and enjoyed singing in the church choir throughout most of his adult life. When Walter had some rare spare time, he enjoyed spearing in his dark house on Two Inlets Lake.
He will be lovingly remembered by his much loved wife, Irene; his three children: Ralph (Judy) of Coon Rapids, MN, Rosanne (David) Haupert of Cottage Grove, MN and Jim (Leann) of Park Rapids; his daughter-in-law, Bert Willenbring of Coon Rapids; ten grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren; his three step-children: Jerry Brumbaugh of Park Rapids, Carole Palmer of Ponca City, Oklahoma and Debra (David) Hacker of Menahga, MN; his sister, Rosemary Cooney of Park Rapids; his brother, Tim (Marilyn) Willenbring of Ponsford, MN; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Walter was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara; son, Gerald; step-son, Gene Brumbaugh; one brother, Ray and two sisters: Alice and Esther.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 AM Saturday, August 11, 2012 at St. Marys Catholic Church with Father Thomas Friedl celebrating. The music will be led by the St. Marys Choir and Mary Schmitz will serve as the organist. The active casket bearers will be grandsons: Curt Willenbring, Dane Willenbring, Daren Willenbring, Steve Willenbring, William Willenbring and Mike Haupert. The honorary casket bearers will be granddaughters: Laura Landes, Sara Boyea, Ann Cahoon and Cora Willenbring. Interment will be made in the Willenbring family plot located in St. Marys Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon will be hosted by St. Marys Catholic Church following the service. Visitation will be held beginning 2 hours prior to the service at the church on Saturday.