Walter Mathwig, age 97, of Arlington passed away at the Arlington Good Samaritan Society on Monday, Feb. 13.
Funeral services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Green Isle at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.
Visitation was held at the church from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. It will continue one hour prior to the service time at the church on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Interment with military honors will be in the Arlington Public Cemetery.
Walter Wesley Mathwig was born to Arthur and Minnie (Sickmann) Mathwig in Green Isle Township on Nov. 6, 1919. He was baptized on Nov. 16, 1919, and confirmed on March 25, 1934, at Zion Lutheran Church, Green Isle Township. He attended rural schools.
The years following Walter’s formal education were during the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce. Walter was not one to be still for long and found several different ways to earn money. He raised and sold Newfoundland dogs and told stories about the puppy he received via mail. He also trapped and sold the furs and hired out to other farmers. Walter joined the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and for six months worked in Northern Minnesota making trails and clearing land.
On Nov. 20, 1943, he married Eileen Niehaus in St. Louis, Missouri, which was near Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where Walter was stationed. They had shared 73 years of married life together at the time of his death. He served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps between April 1942 and December 1945 and was deployed to the Pacific theater off the Palua Islands and surrounding area. Walter began a tradition in the Mathwig military family – spending time on Okinawa. Sons Wayne, Don, Wes and Marv and granddaughter, Amber, all spent time on Okinawa during deployments to the Pacific theater. Walter was a member of the Arlington VFW and the Green Isle American Legion.
On returning to Minnesota, he and his wife farmed in Jessenland Township and continued to live there for 69 years. Walter attended Ag School in Green Isle twice a week following harvest until spring planting for four years. The educational program was sponsored by the University of Minnesota. Walter had a knack for remembering the equipment he bought over the years and what he paid for the equipment. He continued his love of farming after retirement by receiving farm magazines, driving around “checking out the crops” and reminiscing about farm life.
His large family was another proud accomplishment for Walter. In recent years he always had big smiles whenever holding his many great and great-great grandchilden.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen Mathwig of Arlington; children, Joyce (David) Kroells, Wayne Mathwig, Jackie (Darrel) Alsleben, Donald (Pat) Mathwig, Wesley Mathwig, Marvin Mathwig, Bill (Carla) Mathwig and Beverly Breyer; daughter-in-law, Nancy Mathwig; 26 grandchildren, Scott Janssen, Kris Oien, Ken, Kraig and Karin Kroells, Lisa Mathwig, Linda Jeurissen, Lainey Schwartz, Stacy Haggenmiller, Nick Alsleben, Lisa Lewis, Jarrett Mathwig, Julie Bailey, Heather Hover, Briana Kloppen, Jennifer Shufelt, Zachary, Nathan, Derek, Sean, Amber, Jeremy Mathwig, Jessica Olson, Tonia Bindas, and Troy and Matthew Breyer; 50 great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren; siblings, Gilbert (Gladys) Mathwig and Chester Mathwig; and many nieces and nephews.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents; son, Darwin; daughters-in-law, Mary Mathwig and Debbie Mathwig; siblings, Lawrence Mathwig, Ordwin Mathwig, Ernst (Dorothy) Mathwig and Manley (Elvera) Mathwig; sister-in-law, Betty Mathwig; and sister, Elsie Sturm.
Kolden Funeral Home of Arlington is handling the arrangements.