Walter J. Eilers, age 95, of Yankton, passed away on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at Avera Yankton Care Center, Yankton.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 6, 2009, at St. Agnes (Sigel) Catholic Church, Rural Utica, S.D., with Rev. William McKane officiating.
Burial will be in the St. Agnes (Sigel) Cemetery.
Visitations will be 3-9 p.m., Friday, June 5, 2009, at Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Crematory, Yankton, with a 7 p.m. prayer service followed by a rosary. Visitations will resume one hour prior to the service at the church.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons: Larry, Daniel, Alan, Chad and Jeff Eilers and Cory Bierle. Honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters, Pamela Tramp and Tammy Cline.
Walter was born the youngest of six children on April 12, 1914, in Geddes, S.D., to Herman and Clara (Pink) Eilers. The family moved to Yankton and he attended the old and the new Sacred Heart Grade School. His family then moved to a farm east of Lesterville and later they moved to a farm in the Utica area. He finished school at the Huber Grade School until the 8th grade.
He married Florence Sigel on October 22, 1940. The couple who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, farmed in the Utica area for 50 years, raising livestock, pigs, corn and other grain. Walter loved his John Deere and International tractors. He served on the Huber School Board and was an usher at Sigel Church for many years.
Walter and Florence moved to Yankton in November 1990 and became members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. After retiring, he still enjoyed driving to his farm to see the livestock and the crops. He loved to make things from wood. He made many flowers stands and other crafts which he gave away.
Walter celebrated his 95th birthday on April 12, 2009 (Easter Sunday), with all his family present. He then entered Avera Yankton Care Center on April 13, 2009.
He is survived by his sons: Donald (LaVerla) Eilers of Mission Hill, S.D., and Gerald (Debra) Eilers of Utica, S.D.; daughters: Janice (Dan) Bierle of Lesterville, S.D. and Carol (fiancé, Jeff Gudahl) of Yankton; 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Walter was preceded in death by his wife, Florence on October 3, 1999, his parents, and 5 sisters.
Yankton Press & Dakotan
June 5, 2009