Walter Irving Lielke passed away at his home on March 30, 2011.
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Everyone who knew him will remember the butcher who loved to cut and wrap meat - domestic and wild game. Walt was soft spoken, a kind gentle man, always willing to help others. For 40-plus years, he was a league bowler and went to nationals as a senior. Often he was fishing with good friends. Walt also enjoyed boating, hunting and playing Wist.
Walt was born Feb. 10, 1918, in Fessenden, N.D., to John and Mary (Klimpel), immigrants from Russia and Germany. The family relocated to Minot, where they farmed. Walt graduated Minot High School where he played football and baseball. His first job was cutting ice blocks from the Souris River for a meat packing plant. This led to delivering groceries, which led to becoming a butcher. In Minot, Walt was meat manager for Heine Diamond and George Marragos.
Walt is preceded in death by his first wife; son, James; and seven siblings: Elmer, Beno, Paul, Elsie (Pouliot), Adeline (Bunny), Helen (Langseth) and Marge (Stavenjord).
Walt married Helen Koepske and together they had four children: Rolland (Carol Coover) of Montana and Arizona, Janice Heesen (Robert) of Mountlake Terrace, Wash., James (Kay Jones) of Everett, Wash., Jeanne Bodine of Three Forks.
Walt was drafted into the Navy and served during World War II. After, Walt and Helen owned/operated their grocery store for many years in Langsford, N.D. Helen passed away in 1956.
Walt and Mary Holmes were married on Valentine's Day, 1961. They settled in Minot, then relocated to Ennis. Together they had three children: Deborah Johnson (Richard) of Helena, Lori Scott (Donald) of Clyde Park, and Kevin of Ennis.
Walt and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
Walt's pride and joy was his family. We consist of seven children with 70-plus grand, great-grand and great-great-grandkids. We are spread from coast to coast, therefore a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Madison Valley Medical Center, or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 7, 2011