FUNERAL SERVICES: will be held at 11:00 A.M, Friday, April 23, 2010 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, MN with Father Tom Friedl officiating.
VISITATION: will be held from 5 - 8:00 P.M., Thursday, April 22, 2010 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids with the Rosary at 7:30 P.M.
INTERMENT: St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Cemetery in Park Rapids
SURVIVORS: He will be lovingly remembered by his 7 children: Joanne (Butch) Shepersky of Menahga, MN, Ray (Carol) Gartner of Coon Rapids, MN, Robert (Colleen) Gartner of Park Rapids, Linda Pihlaja of Osage, MN, Teresa (Lowell) Sperling of Ponsford, MN, Larry Gartner and Nick (Tammy) Gartner all of Park Rapids; 17 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; l brother, Virgil (Beverly) Gartner of New Hope, MN and l sister, Sadella Herlitz of Park Rapids.
WALTER JOHN GARTNER
March 6, 1920 –April 19, 2010
Walter John Gartner, age 90, a life long resident of the Park Rapids, MN area, peacefully entered Eternal Life on Monday, April 19, 2010 at his home surrounded by his loved ones.
Wally was born on March 6, 1920 in Savannah Township of Becker County, north of Park Rapids. He attended the Goldenrod Country School near his parent’s farm. As a young man he worked out in the fields of North Dakota and also logged the forests of Northern MN. In April of 1942, Wally entered the United States Army. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Wally and a group of his buddies waited in line for three days to enlist in the military. He proudly served in the 45th Evacuation Hospital Unit as an Army medic throughout World War II. Wally had provided medical support as part of the Invasion Forces on Normandy and also the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. Following the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Wally helped care for the remaining survivors. Upon receiving his honorable discharge in December of 1945, Wally returned home to Minnesota. On September 8, 1948, Wally was united in marriage to Helen Brick at St. Peters Catholic Church in Park Rapids. This union was blessed with 8 children: Joanne, Robert, Ray, Linda, Jimmy, Teresa, Larry and Nick. After their marriage, Wally worked for one year at the VA Hospital in Fargo, ND. In 1953, Wally engaged himself full time in operating a dairy farm west of Park Rapids. He dedicated himself to building up a fine herd of milk cattle and worked hard in turning the rugged land into a productive farm. He loved the out of doors and especially enjoyed deer hunting with his family. He was a gifted carpenter and had built or remodeled just about all the buildings on his farm. After selling the cows in 1991, Wally and Helen enjoyed some traveling and spending time with his children and grandchildren. Wally was a long time member of St. Peters Catholic Church in Park Rapids and was a life time member of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212 in Park Rapids. His life was forever saddened by the death of his son Jimmy who died in a tragic farm accident in 1971 and the death of his beloved wife, Helen in 2002. Above all, Wally will be remembered for his devotion to his family who he loved with all his heart.
He will be lovingly remembered by his 7 children: Joanne (Butch) Shepersky of Menahga, MN, Ray (Carol) Gartner of Coon Rapids, MN, Robert (Colleen) Gartner of Park Rapids, Linda Pihlaja of Osage, MN, Teresa (Lowell) Sperling of Ponsford, MN, Larry Gartner and Nick (Tammy) Gartner all of Park Rapids; 17 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; l brother, Virgil (Beverly) Gartner of New Hope, MN and l sister, Sadella Herlitz of Park Rapids.
Wally was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; son, Jimmy; his parents; four brothers; four sisters; his son-in-law, Roger Pihlaja in 2008 and twin great great grand daughters in 2005.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, April 23, 2010 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, MN with Father Thomas Friedel officiating. Organist will be Joy Horejsi. The song leader will be Annette Haas. Active Casketbearers will be Marvin Shepersky, Robert Gartner, Raymond Gartner, Jerry Pihlaja, Lowell Sperling, Larry Gartner, Nick Gartner, and Mike Gartner. Honorary casketbearers will be Paul Kamrowski, Wayne Schroeder, Dan Gartner and David Gartner. Military Honors will be provided by the Star of the North Marine Corps League. Ray Vaadeland will play taps and the Army Anthem. Interment will be made in St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Cemetery in Park Rapids.