Walter Andersen age 86, of Perry, Iowa passed away on August 22, 2018, at home. Funeral services will be held on Monday August 27, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Perry. Visitation will be on Sunday August 26, 2018 from 2-7 p.m. at the Carris Family Funeral Home & Cremation Care in Perry. Memorials will be given to his family and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent at www.carrisfuneralhome.com.
Walter George Andersen, son of Marinus and Beulah (Barratt) Andersen, was born on September 9, 1931 in Manning, Iowa. His parents brought him up in the First Baptist Church of Brayton, Iowa. Walter attended Windy Dale No. 4 country school near Exira, Iowa through the eighth grade.
Walt loved to go with his dad on trips to local blacksmith shops. He soon developed an interest in motor vehicles, machinery, welding and fixing anything he could take apart. He was drafted into the military in 1952 and ultimately served as a Motor Sergeant during the Korean War, stationed in Texas and Kentucky. During service, he learned to weld and received training in motor mechanics. Upon discharge, Walter found work in auto garages and as a farm hand, eventually apprenticing at Southside Welding in Audubon, Iowa. While there, he helped build the frame of Audubon’s iconic “Albert the Bull”.
On February 14, 1961, Walter was united in marriage to Marlagene Ruth Evans in Brayton, Iowa. Six children were born to this union: Julie, Jody, Alicia, Jeff, Janene and Arick. They made their home first in Audubon and then moved to Perry, Iowa in 1967.
Walt and Marlagene opened Perry Machine & Welding in 1967 and became a foundation for many growing farm operations in the Raccoon River Valley. Walt was known as the go-to man if you needed something fixed or made. If Walt couldn’t do it at first, he might just build a new jig or tool so he could get the job done. Over his more than 45 years as a fabricating blacksmith and welder, he built or repaired countless farm implements, city garbage trucks, and farmers’ big ideas or small jobs - and no job was done until both he and the customer were happy.
Walt was proud to be called upon to repair the bronze victory bell on the Perry High School grounds. His many projects at Stine Seed were a constant source of stories and excitement. Walt also loved judging the Gadget Show for many years at the Iowa State Fair.
Walter was a member and officer of the local, state and national Blacksmiths and Welders Associations. He received honors for his work, including Blacksmith of the Year, as well as frequent recognition for his larger projects in local newspapers and magazines.
Walt was a long time member of the First Baptist Church in Perry, Iowa. He served in the church choir and as a trustee during the transition from the old church to the new. He was privileged to build the tower for the church bell and lift it into place.
Walt enjoyed rollerskating, biking, reading the Sunday Funnies with an assortment of kids tucked into his lap, doing puzzles, gardening and maintaining his collection of small farm tractors that he used around the shop and garden. He was always ready for a road trip to see family in Michigan, Colorado or Iowa, and on camping trips, his kids got to experience a care-free dad that cooked breakfast and went fishing.
After 47 years serving the community, Walter closed Perry Machine & Welding and retired at 83 years of age.
At the age of 86, Walter Andersen passed away peacefully in his home and in the presence of loved ones. He joined his Heavenly Father on August 22, 2018.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, brother M. Leland Andersen, sister Janet Magers, and brother-in-law Harold Nissen.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marlagene Andersen; sister Elna Nissen of Elk Horn, Iowa; sister-in-law Beulah Andersen of Loveland, Colorado; brother-in-law Robert Magers of Council Bluffs, Iowa; children: Julie and her husband Dave Hinds of Birch Run, Michigan; Jody and her husband Mark Walter of Des Moines, Iowa; Alicia and her husband Darwin Penning of Robins, Iowa; Jeff Andersen and his wife Kris of Grimes, Iowa; Janene and her husband Randy Ogrin of Decatur, Michigan; Arick Andersen and his husband Tad of Urbandale, Iowa; grandchildren: Joshua Hinds, Hannah (Hinds) and husband Jeremy Jentzen, Michelle Hinds, Daniel Hinds, Rachel (Walter) and husband Geoff Nerison, Sarah Walter and fiancé Colin , Mark Walter and wife Peytan, Bekah Walter, Melinda (Thelen) and husband Carlos Arguello, Natasha (Thelen) and husband Matt Drennan, Jordan Thelen, Drake Andersen, Noah Andersen and fiancée Catie, Macy Andersen, Austin Ogrin, Colby Ogrin, Lauren Ogrin; great grandchildren: soon to be big brother Sebastian Arguello, Peyton and Indira Drennan, and Judah Jentzen; and many other cherished relatives and friends.