Walter R. Gruling, 101, of 9408 Town Line Road, Wausau, died Saturday, November 26, 2011 at his home under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice.
Walter was born October 4, 1910, in Hamburg, Wisconsin, the 7th of 20 children to the late Robert C. and Otilie (Zastrow) Gruling. The country was in the Great Depression. Thus, during 1929 – 1930, Walter and his brother Ted, obtained temporary employment at Nieman's Fox farm in Thiensville, WI. Later in 1931 he returned home to help on the farm in Hamburg until he obtained employment at AO Smith in Milwaukee where they constructed car frames for General Motors. Between layoffs, he also worked at Armour Packing Plant. After several layoffs, he returned to Hamburg and worked at a logging camp in New Wood, WI. On October 23, 1939 Walter married Justina Heil at St. Mary's rectory in Marathon. They both worked for a prominent family in Fox Point - Walter as a butler, chauffeur and handyman and Justina as a maid and cook. Later, in 1941, they purchased the farm in the town of Wausau where they continued to farm until their retirement in 1976. Justina passed away on February 6, 1977.
He is survived by his son David (Margaret) of Wausau, three grandchildren, Mandy Thompson (Special friend, Darel Boelkens), Matthew Gruling (Special friend, Shelley Nelson), Justina Gruling, three step grandchildren, Butch L. (Amber) Pasch, Christina (Edward) Hurst, Benjiman Pasch, two step great grandchildren, Samantha and Nichole Hurst, two siblings Betty (Robert) Tierney, Wausau, and Robert (Eppie) Gruling, Merrill, and sisters-in-law, Elaine Gruling, Merrill, Lee Gruling, Montello, and Lucile Osmanki, Milwaukee, and by many nieces and nephews. He was further preceded in death by three brothers, Ted, Victor and Gerhart, six sisters, Elisa Sodke, Hattie Riemer, Olga Kriehn, Viola Mohrland, Irma Kriewald and Mary Ann Gruling and eight siblings in infancy.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 1, 2011 at Zion Lutheran Church, Wausau where Walter was a member. Rev. Steven Gjerde will officiate. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at helke.com