Walter Joseph Rolfes was born Aug. 6, 1924, at Le Mars, the son of Joseph and Rose (Langel) Rolfes. He grew up near Le Mars and was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. He attended country school near his home.
Wally was united in marriage to Theresa Arens Aug. 17, 1948, at St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Oyens. The couple farmed in Stanton Township for many years. In addition to farming Wally had also worked at Sioux Tools, Westmar College, and the M & B Feed Mill.
Wally was a longtime member of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Merrill; Knights of Columbus, Trinity Council 1466; and the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, Michael J. McGivney Council 3088.
Wally loved to spend time with his family and particularly attending activities of his grandchildren.
Wally enjoyed life as a farmer. He also enjoyed playing cards and listening to polka music, and woodworking. He also enjoyed riding his lawnmower and following the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Theresa of Merrill; children: Victoria (Mike) Wilds, of Sioux Falls, S.D., Mary (Roy) Sitzmann, of Kingsley, Margaret (Ron) Feilmeier, of Early, Suzanne (Jerry) Crabtree, of Spencer, Deborah (Don) Yusten, of Sioux City, Kevin (Judy) Rolfes, of Council Bluffs, Jane (Alan) Metz, of Sioux City, and Sharon (Steve) Smith, of Oyens; 24 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; three sisters: Ann (Gus) Puetz of Le Mars, Jeannie (Norbert) Schmitz of Currie, Minn., and Lois (Paul) Woll of Worthington, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Rose (Langel) Rolfes; a granddaughter, Elizabeth Wilds; a brother, Al Rolfes, six sisters: Rose Mary Sitzmann, Esther Kurth, Leona Schmitz, Betty Wolbers, Florence Rolfes as a young child, and Rosella Rolfes in infancy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Merrill, with the Rev. Dan Greving as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Catherine's Catholic Cemetery in Oyens, after a luncheon with the family at the K.C. Hall in Le Mars. Visitations will be after 3 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Carlsen-Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars, where there will be a rosary at 4 p.m., and a vigil wake service at 7 p.m., followed immediately by a K.C. rosary and a 4th Degree Chalice Service, all at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Mark Feilmeier, Patrick Feilmeier, Danny Smith, Jacob Metz, Matt Yusten, and Nick Yusten. Honorary casket bearers will be Janelle Rolfes, Rebecca Bechler, Jordan Metz, and Madison Metz.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.