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December 5, 2022

11/10/2022 5:28:00 PM
Funeral service for "Sonny" Podein Nov. 16 at St. John's

The funeral service for Walter "Sonny" Podein, 92, a longtime High Forest Township, Minnesota farmer, will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Stewartville with Rev. Justin Kumfer officiating. A burial with military graveside honors will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville.
Mr. Podein died on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 of natural causes at the Spring Valley Care Center, where he had been a resident for the past two weeks.
Walter M. Podein was born on Feb. 14, 1930, in Rochester, to Walter and Dorothea (Haack) Podein. He grew up on the farm in rural Plainview 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 was 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 wedding, 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 Church, 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 Association. 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 one daughter and two sons, Craig (Charli) of Spring Valley; Jeff (Liz) of Stewartville; and LaRae (Brian) Bushman of Stewartville; seven grandchildren, Jay (Lindsay) Podein, Lori (Matt) Kirtz, Amanda (Jeremy) Spratte, Danielle Bushman, Deidra Bushman, Miranda Bushman and Mitchell Bushman; nine great-grandchildren, Talia, Logan, Xander, Austin, Harlie, Kadi, Aiden, Meah and Ryker; one brother, Don (Phyllis) Podein of Stewartville; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Laura; his parents; and two sisters, Merle Owen and LaVon Birkelo.
The time of visitation for family and friends will be from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 at Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville and one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
Condolences and memories of Walter are welcome at

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