The funeral service for Walter “Sonny” Podein, 92, a long time High Forest Twsp, MN farmer, will be at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday (November 16, 2022) at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stewartville with Rev. Justin Kumfer. A burial with military graveside honors will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville, MN. Mr. Podein died on Wednesday (November 9, 2022) of natural causes at the Spring Valley Care Center where he had been a resident for the past 2 weeks.
Walter M Podein was born on February 14, 1930, in Rochester, MN to Walter and Dorothea (Haack) Podein. He grew up on the farm in rural Plainview, MN before moving with his family as a young boy to rural Stewartville, where he attended country school. He entered the US Army serving two years including combat duty and wounded overseas in Korea during the Korean Conflict. Following his discharge, he returned to Stewartville. Walter was married on June 25, 1955, at the St. John’s Lutheran parsonage in Stewartville to Laura L. Robertson. After their marriage the couple lived in Minneapolis, while Walt attended Dunwoody Institute earning a degree in auto mechanics and was employed at Dunwoody for a time. Walt was employed with IBM in Rochester and was transferred to New York, where they lived during his training. In 1962, they moved to rural High Forest where they farmed, raised their children, and have continued to make their home. Walt farmed and was employed at IBM for many years until his retirement in 1987. Laura was a homemaker and was employed as a cook at the Stewartville Care Center for several years and at Boyum Foods in their bakery area. Mrs. Podein died January 6, 2009. Walter was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran where he served on various committees. He was a member of the Stewartville American Legion Post 164 and he and Laura belonged to the Root River Antique Historical Assn. He enjoyed traveling with Laura and summer family vacations up north. He was an avid reader, followed local and national news, enjoyed walking for exercise and collected and worked on his International Harvester tractors. He enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and loved time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Walter is survived by 1 daughter and 2 sons - Craig (Charli) of Spring Valley, MN; Jeff (Liz) of Stewartville and LaRae (Brian) Bushman of Stewartville; 7 grandchildren – Jay (Lindsay) Podein, Lori (Matt) Kirtz, Amanda (Jeremy) Spratte, Danielle Bushman, Deidra Bushman, Miranda Bushman and Mitchell Bushman; 9 great-grandchildren – Talia, Logan, Xander, Austin, Harlie, Kadi, Aiden, Meah and Ryker; 1 brother – Don (Phyllis) Podein of Stewartville and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Laura, his parents and 2 sisters – Merle Owens and LaVon Birkelo.
The time of the visitation for family and friends will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday (November 15, 2022) at Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville and 1 hr. prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Condolences and memories of Walter are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com