Walter Koehler was born Sept. 10, 1924, in Pine Lake Township, rural New York Mills, to William and Anna (Kellermann) Koehler. He was baptized Oct. 29, 1924, in Pine Lake Township, Otter Tail County, and was confirmed Nov. 15, 1942, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Perham. He attended country school at District 238 in Homestead Township.
Walter served in the U.S. Merchant Marines from February 1955 through December 1958. On April 12, 1959, he was united in marriage with Maria Doess at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Barbara and Annamarie.
Walter and Maria have farmed and made their home in Deer Creek Township for 53 years. Walter loved hunting, fishing and reading. He was a skillful mechanic and an active member of the National Farmers Organization (NFO). He was also a longtime friend of Bill W.
Other things Walter enjoyed included driving around the countryside and visiting with his friends, particularly at the Bake Shoppe. Also, he and Maria made several trips to Germany, visiting family and friends. He even enjoyed downhill skiing in Germany.
On Dec. 27, 2012, Walter passed away at his home, surrounded by his family and the care of Lakeland Hospice, at the age of 88. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Preceding Walter in death were his parents; sister, Margit Hammer and her husband Clemence; brother, LeRoy Koehler; first wife, Carol; and sister-in-law, Guyla Koehler.
Walter is survived by his wife, Maria Koehler of Deer Creek; daughters, Barbara Koehler of San Rafael, Calif. and Annamarie (Nathan) Tabery of Wadena; grandchildren, Chelsea, Christina and Joshua; great-grandchildren, Elijah, Cecilia and Jericho; brother, Leo Koehler of New York Mills; sister-in-law, Arliss Koehler of Fargo; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Memorial services were held Dec. 31, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills, with Pastor Gunnard Heikila officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation and accompanied by Cindy Becker. Honorary pallbearers were Bruce Schlupp, Guy Blaske, Ross Ojala, Roger Hammer, Ron Olson, Bruce Boyne, Bob Hietala and Kim Ohragge. Interment will be in Woodland Cemetery, New York Mills.
Arrangements were provided by Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Tributes may be posted online at www.karvonenfuneralhome.com.