Walter Alwin

Obituary of Walter Frederick Alwin

Walter Frederick Alwin, Age 92, of rural Whitewater, died peacefully at his home Friday evening, Nov. 13, 2009. Walter was born February 11, 1917 above a little butcher shop in Milwaukee to Frederick William and Hulda Helene(Theel)Alwin. As a youth, Walter attended Lutheran Parochial schools in Milwaukee. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing with his cousin and participating in athletics. In 1937, he graduated from Concordia College in Milwaukee, where he was an outstanding member of the school's tennis team. In the tradition of numerous preceding generations of German Lutheran theologians, Walter attended Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis from 1937-39 and did his graduate work a Harvard University and the University of Chicago from 1939-41. He was in the top 2 percentile of all graduate students to attend Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia Universities. On Oct. 15, 1940, Walter enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving his country as a flight instructor during WWII. Christmas, 1940, Walter met the love of life, JoAnn Robinson, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. James K. Robinson, Milwaukee. On only their second date, Walter asked JoAnn to marry him and on March 15, 1941, the couple exchanged vows in Dubuque, IA. After the war, Walter moved his young family back to Milwaukee from Oklahoma, where he had been stationed, and became an entrepreneur in the buying and selling of real estate. In 1951, desirous of bringing their growing family closer to the concept of a self-sustaining community, Walter and JoAnn purchased a large farm near Wausau. Walter later accepted an offer to be the pastor of a number of rural churches in the Montello-Packwaukee-Buffalo area, and the family relocated to the Wautoma area. Walter reallized that in order to take care of the large family he and Joie had always wanted, he would need to find another profession. In 1956, Wally surprised his wife by purchasing the Hoard Mansion on Merchants Ave. in Fort Atkinson. On Christmas Eve, the family moved in. During the time the family spent in Fort, Wally worked as a social worker in Rock county and as a social worker supervisor in Waukesha county, specializing in adult foster care. In 1973, Wally and JoAnn moved to Hamburg (near Wausau), where he again was a social worker for Marathon county until retiring in 1979. In 2007, the couple sold their farm and built a studio apartment at the home of a daughter in rural Whitewater. Wally is survived by his wife of 68 years, JoAnn; a sister: Esther Wachholtz, of Roanoke, VA; 14 children: Gabrielle Alwin of Whitewater, Penelope (Jim) Kleinhans, of Whitewater, Pamela Fullerton, of Hamburg, Deborah (Roy) Rockwell, of Whitewater, Dr. Lance (Nancy) Alwin, of Baraboo, Brent Alwin, of Hebron, Jill (Matt) Simmons of Whitewater, Craig (Patricia) Alwin, of Merrill, April Alwin, of Whitewater, Dr. Sean Alwin, of Wausau, Jeanine Davis of Lansing MI, Elaine Robinson, of Madison, Dennis Sohns and Lee Sohns; 41 grandchildren; 66 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, and two brothers-in-law, Harry Robinson and Dr. James K. Robinson. Wally loved to take long walks in the woods (his dogs running along) or sit in a rocking chair by the warmth of a wood stove as he instructed the succeeding generations in Greek, Latin, German, the constellations, and the wisdom of God�s word. Wally was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Helen Ginski; two sons, Vietman war hero Capt. Scott R. Alwin and an infant; and grandson, Tyrone Alwin Kleinhans. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 1pm, at First English Lutheran Church, Whitewater, with pastors Steve R. Hanson and Jerald Wendt officiating. Visitation will take place at the church an hour before the time of services. Burial will be in Cold Spring Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to participate in a celebration of Wally�s life at First English Lutheran Church after the interment. Memorials are to be given to the Scott Robinson Alwin scholarship fund at Concordia College, Milwaukee, if desired. The family wishes to thank HospiceCare, Inc. for the compassionate care given to both Wally and JoAnn. Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family.
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