Walter Henry Baustian, Jr., age 84, of Luverne, MN, died Friday, April 27th, 2018, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne. Born on April 1, 1934, he was welcomed into the family of Walter Sr. and Frances (Brandenburg) Baustian as the tenth of twelve children, living most of his life on a farm in Springwater Township in Rock County, Minnesota. Walter attended country school in Rock County and graduated from Luverne High School in 1952. Following his graduation, he helped on the family farm and then served in the United States Navy from November 1955 to August 1957.
Walter was united in marriage to Jean Siemonsma on August 12, 1958 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Humboldt, SD. Jean and Walter met at the Arkota Ballroom in Sioux Falls which fostered a love of polka dancing for years to come. The couple farmed northwest of Luverne for over 50 years before retiring and moving to Luverne. Together they raised seven children; Mike, Diane, Lori, Pat, Lisa, Kim and Kris. Following retirement, Walter worked at the Minnesota Travel Center until 2014.
Walter was a dedicated member of St. Catherine Catholic Church, serving as a member of the 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus, joyfully handing out Tootsie Rolls and working the Friday fish fry during the Lenten Season. He enjoyed the camaraderie with his fellow Knights and worked to perfect his bowling game every Wednesday night. In his later years, visits from grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought him great joy.
Walter is lovingly remembered by his wife of 59 years, Jean Baustian, Luverne; six children, Mike (Cyndy), Jasper; Diane (Andy) Kunkel, East Wenatchee, WA; Lori Edmundson, Harrison, MT; Pat (Katie), Luverne; Kim (Mike) Mohr, Mitchell, SD; Kris (Tom) Denevan, Sioux Falls, SD; twenty four grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren; and a son-in-law Jim Smart, LaHarpe, KS. Also surviving Walter are siblings Neva Clausen, Luverne; Lester Baustian, Brandon, SD; Joan Baustian, Adrian, MI; and sister-in-law, Mitzi Baustian, Jasper, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant twin sisters, three brothers, Elaine Slaughter, Virgil “Bud”, Melvin, Norbert, Herbert, and Jerry; and a daughter Lisa Smart in 2003.
Visitation will be from 4pm-7pm on Friday, May 4th, at Dingmann Funeral Home in Luverne with a prayer service at 7pm. Funeral Mass will begin at 10:30am on Saturday, May 5th, at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne; officiated by Father Thomas Jennings. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the St. Catherine Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Luverne American Legion & VFW.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials directed to Luverne Hospice or the St. Catherine Kitchen Renovation Fund.