Walter Joseph "Wally" Stephan

Walter Joseph "Wally" Stephan, 85, of Richfield, died peacefully on July 22, 2007 at his home.

He was born March 3, 1922 in Germantown to Albert and Anna Stephan.

He was the loving husband for 62 years of Ethel (nee Heisdorf). Her dedication to his care allowed Wally to remain at home during the lengthy decline in his health.

He was the beloved father of Mark (Joann) Stephan, Jane (John) Nacker, Jean (Brad) Hogan, John (Jean) Stephan and Joan (Mark) Weyer; the cherished grandpa of Andy, Matt and Karen Stephan, John C. and James Nacker, Melissa and Nick Hogan, Joseph and Anna Stephan, and Alex and Taylor Weyer; the brother of Norbert (Germaine) Stephan and the late Lawrence, Henry, John, and Louis.

He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Florence Stephan; a brother-in-law, Joe (Rose) Heisdorf and other relatives and friends.

Walter was retired from the Gehl Co., West Bend, and was a member of the Gehl Hexelbank Club, a lifetime member of St. Boniface Parish, a member of the Germantown Historical Society and past member of Milwaukee Liedertafel.

Walter was an avid historian who shared his German heritage, farming and local history with younger generations.

He could explain the history of land ownership in the local plat books and enjoyed traveling to Germany with his wife to visit the land of their ancestors.

Wally took pleasure in polka and German music and liked to sing along.

The homestead farm that his grandparents started in 1854 in Germantown was his passion.

A creative handyman, Walter could repair anything.

He loved his land, animals, and driving tractors. He would take his antique tractors, wagons, and horse buggy in local parades and family members would participate by wearing ethnic clothing.

Walter was a devoted husband and dad. He made sure all of his children received a good education. Catholic values were deep-rooted, and Walter ingrained these with his family.

His humble, easygoing manner and subtle humor endeared him to his family and friends.

Visitation will be Saturday, July 28, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Boniface Church, W204 N11924 Goldendale Road, Germantown, followed by a Memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m.

Interment will be private for the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Boniface Food Pantry, the Alzheimers Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or charity of the donorís choice.

The Schramka-Herrick Funeral Home, Menomonee Falls, is assisting the family.

The family wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to VITAS Hospice and Comfort Keepers for their care.