Runstedler, Walter “Walt”
Passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Monday, April 5, 2021 at St. Mary's Hospital in Kitchener at the age of 82. Walt was born on June 29, 1938 and was proud to be a country farm kid from the ‘Clem’ where he learned the importance of an honest day’s work.
Beloved husband of Gerry (nee Austin) for over 56 years. Loving father of Patrick (Chris), Terry (Cathy) and Lisa (Tom Uz). Proud Papa of Connor, Riley, Lexi, Courtney, Jacob, Rachel, Isaiah and Tommy. Son of the late Ethel (nee Walton) and Leo Runstedler. Dear brother of Gilbert Runstedler (late Rita), Mary McCann (late Bev), Rita Lederman, Barb DeWitt (Wally) and the late Albert R (Jean), Jack R (Millie) and Irene Dietrich (Harry). Fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews and their families.
Walt’s love of family, children and learning can be seen in his wonderful educational career which began at St. Joseph’s School in Kitchener where he laid eyes on the love of his life Gerry. His thirst for knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit led him to earn a Master of Education and Supervisory Officer qualifications, teach religious education at Loyola College followed by a tax business in his later years. As the consummate educator school was always in session. Quizzes on crops and cows were customary on car rides up to the cottage with the soothing sounds of CKK-Quiet and conversation filling the airways.
Walt was a wonderful storyteller and the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ will always serve a bedtime favourite with the grandkids. Walt was a betting man who loved his morning coffee, playing cards, golf, ping pong, crokinole and bonfires at the Bend, his beach sanctuary, “The Dew Little Inn”, ironic for a man who couldn’t sit still. His ‘toonie’ handshake, post hockey and ringette games were legendary. He never missed a game.
His zest for love, life and laughter were infectious. Walt was a selfless man whose smile and sense of humour would instantly lift the spirits of those who had the good fortune of being in his presence. He placed great importance on fun, integrity and generosity. His commitment to coaching, St. John’s Soup Kitchen and SmokeEnders were testament to his call to service. He also took great pride in being able to take care of himself. His one-armed bat swings, his two-finger arm wrestle put downs and his broom jumping prowess were often imitated but never duplicated. He was the inventor of fun.
Walt was blessed to be a member of the "Tuesday Night Group" composed of a special group of retired principals whose unwavering support kept hope and joy alive for Walt. The family is eternally grateful!
Walt was a faith-filled man and an active member of St. Francis church where he served as a lecturer and eucharistic minister while Gerry sang in the choir. Walt loved the Prayer of St. Francis and he lived St. Francis’ words, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use Words’ with his heart, every moment of every day.
Walt had many endearing names, including Papa and The Griz, but The GOAT - Greatest-Of-All-Time husband, father, grandfather, educator and mentor is how he will be remembered - Heaven just gained a Hero.
The family extends their appreciation to the health care team at St. Mary’s Hospital who cared for him deeply in his last few days.
Walt's family will receive relatives and friends from 5-8 pm on Saturday, April 10, 2021 and from 4-8 pm on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick St., Kitchener. Private Funeral Mass at 11 am on Monday, April 12, 2021 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 49 Blueridge Ave., Kitchener. Interment at St. Clements Roman Catholic Cemetery. Relatives and friends must RSVP through the funeral home website or by calling (519) 749-8467 to attend the visitation. Relatives and friends may also join the funeral Mass via live stream at https://www.henrywalser.com/live-streaming
As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated.
Visit www.henrywalser.com to view Walt's memorial and to RSVP.