November 18, 1917 ~ December 11, 2013
Walter Westerberg, 96, of Fargo, ND, rode peacefully into the great beyond on December 11, 2013. He mounted up at Rosewood on Broadway and took his final ride, surrounded by his loving family, dear friends Pastor Steve, Parish Nurse Sandi and received loving assistance from the caring staff on third floor at Rosewood and Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Walter was born on Nov. 18, 1917, in a homestead shack outside of Plentywood, MT, the third son of Fred and Nora (Berg) Westerberg. At 5 ½ the family moved from the homestead and lived in various places in Montana and where he attended country schools. The family always had horses and Walter learned to ride at a young age and always loved to ride. He loved sharing stories about working cattle or spending the day riding with his brothers and eating what nature would provide them on their adventure.
At age 15, the family moved to the Glyndon area and Walter attended Glyndon High School. He worked for area farmers and served in the Civilian Conservation Corps for a year. He also worked for the N.P. Railroad Bridge and Building gang. After saving for tuition, at age 20 he attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering, completing the electrical welding curriculum.
On October 22, 1939, Walter married June (Huebner) Westerberg at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead making their home in Glyndon for three years before moving to Fargo. He worked on the Naval Training Station at Farragut, ID, making use of his expert carpentry skills. At the completion of the project he returned home to his family gaining employment with the Great Northern Railroad. He advanced to powerhouse engineer and worked 29 years until the roundhouse closed. He was the national secretary treasurer for the Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers Union. He and June attended national conventions in Philadelphia and Chicago making new friends and lifelong memories.
Due to the shortage of railroad workers, Walter was deferred from serving in the army in spite of being classified as 1-A. Before being called up for a second time, he fell off a locomotive, fracturing his back and was not able to serve. He never lost his love for trains and enjoyed the electrical trains in his basement for years.
The next career challenge was as a printer working for the extension service at NDSU for 24 years. While always working full-time, he found himself working numerous part-time jobs, developing more talents. At 67 years of age, Walter embarked on his favorite career, retirement, and was able to devote all his time to being a loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved tinkering in his garage, doing woodworking. Walter had a strong faith and in retirement thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Messiah Retired Men’s Group. He attended these Bible studies until 5 weeks before going to his final home.
Walter and June were blessed with five children, Janice Harris, Oak Grove, MN, Wanda (Jim) Weiser, Hackensack, MN, Marjeanie (Phil) Hanson, Fremont, NE, Susan (Randy) Eider, W. Tim (Annie) Westerberg, both of Fargo. Twelve grandchildren, Dianna Harris, Dan Harris, David (Tammy) Harris, Darcie (Joe) Ayers, Jennifer (Scott) Stenstrom, Paul (Julie) Weiser, Erik Weiser, Steve (Shannon) Bergee, Lindsey (Jesse) Gwynn, Scott (Sarah) Eider, Keith (Adrienne) Eider, Ian (Westerberg) Magnuson; twelve great grandchildren, Abi and Aryanna Harris, Savanna and Sam Harris, Sara (Josh) Stenstrom-Brenny, Adam (Nicole) and Kevin (Kayla) Stenstrom; and one great-great granddaughter, Cali Stenstrom.
Walter is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Arnold, Chuck, Fred and Warren, sisters Olive Kirkman and Lorraine Sannes. He is survived by June, his wife of 74 years, his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great granddaughter, brother Jim (Couer d’Alene, ID), sisters Betty Bren (Sprague, WA), Francis Swaggart (Cooks, MI) and many nieces and nephews.