Skip to content



Walter Marion Putney, Sr., son of Olie Walter and Mildred Kathleen (Mosier), was born August 12, 1931 at the home place in Poe township, Kellerton, Iowa.

After growing up on the farm, Walt drove a coal truck in Des Moines and later moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he hauled equipment. Walt returned to Des Moines and was a house mover.

In the early 1950s Walt married Norma and they had two children, Steve and Christina. They later divorced. While living in Des Moines, Walt worked as a hide trimmer and worked at Firestone Tire Company. On April 10, 1966, Walt married Violet Sandra Sams and their children included Walter, Jr., George, Dixie, Naomi and Leo. In 1969 the family moved to northeastern Minnesota where Walt worked at U.S. Steel and the family settled in the Gheen, Minnesota area. Walt retired from U.S. Steel in 1987 and returned to the home farm to live the remainder of his life. 

Walt liked going to farm auctions and visiting with friends over a cup of coffee at an area restaurant. On March 9, 1973, Walt began a life of sobriety that lasted just over 40 years. Walt was an active member of A.A. and he helped countless people over the years to live ‘one day at a time.’ Over the last few years, Walt was able to live at home because of his son, Walter, Jr., moving in and caring for his dad.

Walt and J.R. had gone back up to Gheen, Minnesota to visit when Walt died suddenly on July 13, 2013 at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Violet; son, Leo; sisters, Barb Weaver and Margaret Putney, and brother, Johnny.

Survivors include his children, Steve of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Walter, Jr. of Kellerton, Iowa, George (Melissa) of Des Moines, Iowa, Christina of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Naomi of Fulton, Missouri and Dixie (Jake) of Virginia, Minnesota; 11 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Jolene of Cook, Minnesota; nieces; nephews; other relatives, and friends. 

A memorial fund has been established in his name. 

Services were conducted at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Sunday, July 21, 2013, with Pastor Bill Armstrong officiating. Musical selections were ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ and ‘Amazing Grace.’ Casketbearers included Marty Schnoor, Mike Avitt, Jim Rinehart, Bill Livingston, Rick Van Pelt and Bob Riddle.

Burial was in the Oakland Cemetery in Mount Ayr, Iowa. 

Leave a Comment