After a long journey, Wally went home to be with his Lord on October 23, 2019.
He was born on September 24, 1935, to Walter and Matie (Hansen) Damrow. He grew up on a farm west of Cataract, and graduated from Melrose High School with the class of 1953. Shortly after graduation, Uncle Sam called. Wally spent the next two years serving his country in the U.S. Army. Wally was proud to be called a veteran and was happy to be a passenger on the Freedom Honor Flight in 2015.
Years after meeting her in Sunday School, Wally married Carol Jacobsen on May 9, 1959, which he called the best day of his life, even when Carol wasn’t standing within earshot. Three children were born to their union: Duane (Laura Rice), Colleen (Michael Decorah), and Barbara (Lenny Hynek). This was followed by 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren (and one on the way). He retired after over thirty years as an electrician at the Tomah VA. Additionally, for twenty-five years, both before and after retirement, Wally offered valuable help at Habelman’s Cranberry Marsh during harvest time.
Wally loved to serve others. In addition to being the Unofficial Honorary Mayor of Cataract, he was an active member of the American Legion and Cataract Sportsmen Club. He donated blood at every single opportunity. He routinely spent his afternoons and weekends keeping book for his granddaughter’s high school and collegiate softball teams.
It was rare to find Wally sitting still, and when he did, it was usually to trounce his family and friends in heated games of cards or Scrabble. He was pleased to be the Champion of the First Annual Damrow Family Euchre Tournament earlier this year, where he defeated 33 of his family members to take the title. He loved the outdoors year-round and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and boating. It surprised nobody that he was jet skiing at eighty years old! However, it was clear to all that his favorite activity was whirling his darling Carol around the dance floor, preferably to a lively polka performed by Gary and the Ridgeland Dutchmen (for whom Wally served as a “roadie”, even following them across the country to Arizona!).
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gordon, his brother in law Dale Jacobsen, and his precious grandchild Miranda Rae Decorah. He is survived by his beloved wife, his children, his sister Sharon (Kent Jacobsen), sisters in law Donna Damrow, Ardelle Zillmer, and LaVonne Berry, and family and friends who adored him and are better for having known him.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 28, at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Sparta, with Reverend John Meyer officiating. Military honors provided by Neil S. Lewison American Legion Post 439 will follow in the church parking lot. Burial will be held at a later time in Cataract Cemetery.
Visitation for Walter will be from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, at the Lanham-Schahofer Funeral Home, Sparta, and at the church on Monday, from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Online condolences may be offered to the Damrow family at www.schanhoferfh.com.
Wally’s family wishes to extend a hearty thank you to the Gundersen Hospice team for all the wonderful care provided to him. For those who wish to offer memorials, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be directed to the Freedom Honor Flight or the Gundersen Hospice program in Wally’s honor.
The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.
To send flowers to Walter "Wally" E. Damrow's family, please visit our floral section.