Wally was born in Ortonville, Minn. on April 23, 1930 and grew up in Beardsley, Minn., where he was very active in his school with sports and school government offices. In 1963 Wally married Agnes Ryan and her eight children. Quite a change for a bachelor with no children of his own. After living in Blaine for a few years they moved up to the best 40 acres in Isanti Township. Neither of them had land experience, but they designed and built their home by themselves (with help from the “kids” and some friends), paying as they went. At 52 Wally survived a major heart attack where the heart was enlarged and badly damaged. He was forced into early retirement from Williams Steel in NE Minneapolis where he worked for almost 27 years. With the love and care of his wife he actually lived a decent life even though restricted in many ways. He was very active in his community, serving on the Park and Rec board for many years. He volunteered his time instructing young people on snowmobile safety so they could get a permit to ride snowmobiles. He continued his civic interests being very involved with the DFL party until his death.
Wally was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Sarah Fetterley; (step) sons, Michael Ryan and Patrick Ryan; and in 2004, by his wife Agnes (Tootie), and by his sister, Zella Olson. He is survived by his (step) daughters; Becky (Curt) Johnson, Karen (Bernie) Kunkel, Colleen (Jerome) Jirovec, Linda Ryan, Laura (Jerry) Widell, and Sheila Mathews; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends, and of course his best buddy, Punkin – a little tan and white cat – who helped Wally through some tough days. Though he was our ‘Step’ Father, he could not have been loved or respected more. He will be deeply missed, but we are happy he’s back with the love of his life, our Mother.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Strike Funeral Home – Isanti Chapel with Chaplain Len Ochowicz officiating. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until the service Tuesday. Interment is in Isanti Union Cemetery.