After a remarkable life of 89 years, Walter died peacefully in Victoria on September 19, surrounded by love. He was born in southern Manitoba to Mennonite immigrants, the second of five children. His family moved to the Fraser Valley when he was a young teen; he thrived on his parents’ farm and learned the value of hard work. In high school he met the love of his life, Susanne, whom he married in 1955 after completing an Agriculture degree at UBC. The couple owned and operated a dairy farm in Sumas Prairie for the next 10 years, raising a son, Warren, and daughter, Lisa, as well as developing a herd of prize-winning Holsteins. After selling the farm, Walter began a more than 30-year career in public service, first as the District Agriculturist in Prince George and Creston, before moving in 1969 to Victoria, where a third child, Elizabeth, was born. Walter held numerous government positions including Supervising District Agriculturist, Director of the Field and Special Crops Branch, and Director of the Crop Protection Branch, along the way earning a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Victoria.

Walter enjoyed 25 vibrant years after his retirement, taking road trips with Susanne, gardening, reading, and volunteering at their church. He was a man of niche interests and could talk at length about Jewish history, crop pests, elders and deacons, and sprinkler systems. A man of faith, Walter was generous and hospitable, always quick to offer a meal, a ride, a room for the night.  He loved sitting on his patio chair and surveying the yard. He loved walking around the golf course and greeting every person he met. He loved visiting with relatives most of all and would have dearly loved to attend his memorial.

Walter is now reuniting with his parents David and Justina, brother Abe, and beloved granddaughter Charis. As his brother-in-law, Ben, reflected upon viewing his body: “He’s busier than he looks.”

Remembering him are his wife of 67 years, Susanne; son Warren (Leanne); daughters Lisa Dyck (Tim) and Elizabeth Grinevitch (Trevor); grandchildren Bryan (Stacy), Kevin, David, and Hazel; great-grandchildren Hannah and Nathan; sisters Agnes, Mary, and Susan and their families, as well as numerous relations and friends. He will be missed.

The family would like to thank the staff at Berwick Royal Oak and Brio Care Unit for their compassionate care during Walter’s last months.

A memorial service was held on Friday, October 14, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive,  Victoria, BC. The family invites those unable to attend and those unvaccinated for COVID to join the service through a Zoom link below.

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85630399459?pwd=NG4rYmMzcmJHZnZjKzM4c042eVZkQT09

In lieu of flowers, please donate to International Student Ministries Canada or Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine. To view service recording click arrow below.

McCall Gardens

  • Lucille Hollands

    I am sorry I missed the Zoom service, Susanne, but have good memories of Walter both at Central and Saanich. We have known each other since our kids were in their teens and that was a long time ago. I am happy you are at Berwick where I know you have made some good friends. Peace go with you.

  • Tom & Carol Anne Wiebe

    Thinking of you and your family during this time. It has been many years since we’ve seen Walter, but always enjoyed any visits we had with him.

  • Dale Friesen

    Dear Auntie Susan and Family (from your nephew, Dale Friesen, Abbotsford).

    I really enjoyed the (online zoom) service, today, for Uncle Walter, it was amazing!

    Even though I didn’t know him all that well, what ever I do remember gave a good recollection, especially considering the things that were also said of him today, as well.

    I really appreciated everything so much!

  • Debbie Crosby

    Dear Susanne and Family
    Walter was such a blessing to so many and I can only begin to imagine how much more so for you Susanne, his dear wife, your children, grandchildren and all the extended family. How fortunate for you to get to share life with such a faith-filled, godly family man.

    I wish I could have known him better. I really only knew Walter through brief encounters, often as he worked in the gardens at the church while I was on my way in to join the lady’s Bible study. His warm welcome and huge smile always blessed my morning. Though I wasn’t a member of your church, I was always made to feel that I belonged – a good part of that by Walter, Pastor Ken, and all the wonderful women, including Susanne, who met there each week. I was sorry when I got a job that prevented my attendance and then eventually retired up Island, but the warmth, fond memories and church “family” connection will never leave me; I’m so grateful God made us “family” through Jesus Christ and grateful that maybe I’ll get to know Walter even better when it’s my turn to go home!

    It’s lovely to think of Walter with Jesus, but it is equally hard to miss your loved one. I thank God for His promise to comfort those who mourn and am praying for you all, that God will continue to be your comfort, peace, hope and strength for those difficult moments when you long to have Walter beside you again. Praise God that we can look forward to a wonderful reunion one day, free from pain, sorrow, and goodbyes!
    God Bless You All.

  • William and Lynette Gynther

    Lyn and I (Bill) have watched Walter’s funeral service and shed our tears together here in Australia. We are very privileged to have known Walter and Susanne and have greatly benefited from their friendship for many years.

    God bless you abundantly Susanne. With our love.

  • Carolyn Crabb Fast

    Thank you for arranging for the Zoom link to the service. It gave me the opportunity to listen in and enjoy the celebration of Walter’s life. I’ve known Walter since I was in my teens when I was friends with Warren and Lisa at Central Baptist. I even worked for him in my first real job at the Department of Agriculture as it was known then in 1975! We reconnected when Walter and Susanne came to Saanich Community Church in later years. As others commented today, he was a caring man who loved to share a warm handshake and always to ask how you were. I share my condolences with the family and wish you peace as you go forward with wonderful memories of Walter and his life well lived.

  • Cynthia Schmidt

    On behalf of my family, I send our condolences for the loss of my dear Uncle Walter to his wife, Aunt Susanne and family. I have fond memories of Uncle Walter’s big smile, and the joy for life he shared with everyone. He will dearly missed by all who were blessed to have known him. Love from Cynthia Schmidt

  • Phil & Lydia Hamm

    We wish to express our sympathy to Aunt Susanne and the family at the passing of Uncle Walter. As a student at the University of Victoria from 1969 – 1971, Phil & I enjoyed their hospitality and warmth many times. Phil appreciated being able to stay with them when he would visit me from the mainland. We loved Uncle Walter’s easy going personality, his faith discussions, his ever ready smile and welcoming spirit. He is remembered with fond memories. One early and special memory was was being the flower girl at their wedding.

  • Edith Wiebe and Bert Friesen

    What a lovely obit for Walter! I have many memories of our visits, his stories, kindness and insights as well as his quirky sense of humor. Walter made every effort to have a positive impact on those with whom he came in contact. He will be remembered fondly. Our deepest sympathies to the family. We’ll be joining you via Zoom on Friday.

  • Leslie Grosser

    I attend Saanich Community Church and will miss Walter and his pleasant and outgoing personality.

  • Brian and Faye Currie

    We offer our condolences to Susanne and the entire family as you deal with the temporary loss of Walter. It was my privilege to sing in the Central Baptist Church men’s octet with Walter for well over 10 years during the 80’s. It was a joy to sing with him at various venues songs of the saving grace of our wonderful Lord. In the last few years, Walter and I, and Susanne and Faye enjoyed meetings on Wednesday mornings for coffee times at Hillside Mall along with many other friends. May the Lord provide you with the comfort and peace that only He can provide.

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