Walter Donald Bartel was born Aug. 2, 1923, in Picketts, Wis.,, the son of Walter Sylvester and Marjory (Friedricks) Bartel. After graduating from Green Lake High School, Walt enrolled in the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. He earned his degree in education and took his first teaching position in Wisconsin at Readstown High School where he taught vocational agriculture and chemistry.
On Jan. 20, 1951, Walt and Mildred Harris were united in marriage at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Viroqua, Wis. From 1950 to 1960, Walt taught vocational agriculture in Wisconsin. He worked as a salesman for PAG Seeds and Massey Ferguson farm equipment.
In 1965, Walt and Millie moved to Le Mars. Walt took a position with Colonial Manor Nursing Homes in Sioux City. He covered the western states and performed feasibility studies in communities needing care for the elderly. After a few years with Colonial Manor, Walt switched careers and began work with Harvestore selling silos to area farmers.
After Harvestore closed, Walt taught parks and golf course management at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City and was a substitute teacher at Le Mars Community High School. Throughout the years he operated a lawn care business with his son, Tony, and assisted at Bartel Floral. Walt also operated Lucky Putts miniature golf next to the flower shop.
Walt was a member of St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars where he ushered and carved turkeys at the annual smorgasbord. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Eagles Club in Le Mars.
In his spare time he loved to fish, hunt and play cards.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 61 years, Millie of Le Mars; son, Jim Bartel, of Le Mars; son, Tony Bartel and his wife Desi, of Glenwood; daughter, Pam Rolling and her husband Russ, of Oyens; son, Steve Bartel, of Castana; a daughter Michelle Meyers and her husband, Jim, of Sioux City; a daughter, Marcia Conley and her husband, John, of Shawnee, Kan.; grandchildren, Justin (Angel) Weidman, Brian (Shevon) Bartel, Andrea (Geovanny) Pantoja, Kayla Bartel, Eric Bartel, Scott (Shanelle) Rolling, Stacey Kliever, David Rolling, Ashley Bartel, Rachelle (Chad) Kiepe, Curt (Heather) Meyers, Mariah Meyers, Ryan Meyers, Elizabeth Conley, J.P. Conley, Caroline Conley; great-grandchildren, Haley, Dillon and Elijah Weidmann, Liliana Pantoja, Mason Harper, Trent, Sarah, Amber and Brooke Kliever, Kylee and Brycen Rolling, Landon Kiepe, Taryn and Kellan Meyers; and a brother Martin "Bud" Bartel of Green Lake, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, James and Robert.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Paul Eisele will celebrate Mass. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Le Mars. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) with a rosary at 4 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at the Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family through mauerjohnsonfh.com.