Wilma Joyce Wallner, 76, of Bertha, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, at her home on Friday, March 27, 2009, after a courageous, eight-year fight with cancer.
She was born Aug. 24, 1932, at Britt, Iowa to Frank and Mary (Geneva Ruhl) Kearney. She married Paul Edward Wallner in Redfield, S.D. on Oct. 31, 1955. He brought her back to Bertha where they operated a dairy farm west of town.
After selling their cows in 2000, together they enjoyed gardening, bird watching as well as indoor activities such as quilting, crocheting, knitting and collecting many things like stamps, coins, bears, birds and horse figurines. She enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends talking and sharing stories. In the community, she was an active member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bertha, Christian Mothers, Mission Group, Homemaker's and Caring Friends Clubs.
The Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, March 31, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bertha with the Rev. Dan Walz presiding. Pallbearers were her grandsons Michael Stokes, Justin Wallner, Matt Sauer, Jeremy Wallner, Andrew Wallner, Patrick Perish and Tate Wallner. Honorary pallbearers were Heidi Stokes, Jenny Harnack and Maggie Wallner, Kassie, Amanda and Tia Wallner, Kelly Sauer and Lance Parker, Jennifer Haldeman and Ashley, Jaclyn and Devin Perish. Interment was in the St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Bertha Township. Domian-Anderson Funeral Home (www.domian-anderson.com) was in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include her sons, Peter (Joan) of Bertha, Steven (Lucinda) of Wahpeton, N.D., Richard (Kathy) of Chanhassen, Minn., and Thomas (Patty) of Canton, S.D.; daughters, Mary (Warren) Stokes of Wadena, Judy Sauer of Byron, Minn., and Cathy (Kevin) Perish of Clarissa; and 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, who passed away on March 13, 2004; parents, Frank Kearney and Mary Kearney-Kingsly; and sister, Jean Kearney.