Lawrence Roy Waltner was born Jan. 4, 1951 to Rolland R. and Lucille (Schrag) Waltner in Yankton, S.D. He was born with a club foot and had foot problems throughout his life. He passed away peacefully at the Freeman Regional Health Services on June 11, 2018 after a year-long battle with metastatic renal cancer and other health issues. He attained the age of 67.
Lawrence attended North Star (District 66) for his elementary years and he graduated from Freeman Academy in 1969. After high school, he performed alternative service (1-W) as a conscientious objector in Nebraska and Kansas.
Lawrence was baptized upon his confession of faith by Rev. Paul N. Roth on Nov. 19, 1967. He remained a life-long and faithful member of Salem-Zion Mennonite Church until his death. He was an usher at the church for many years. He was known as “the candy man” for handing out LifeSavers to many of the children in church. In his earlier years, Lawrence volunteered with the Mennonite Disaster Service to help with cleanup after disasters occurred. He also helped stick chislic for the MCC sales, and helped serve meals at the Banquet in Sioux Falls.
Lawrence spent his entire life on the family farm east of Freeman, taking over the responsibility of the farm work when his dad retired from farming. He loved playing with the dog and cats. He was faithful with helping other farmers do chores so they could take vacations, and also helped with baling hay for others. Lawrence didn’t have many hobbies.
He lived a simple life. In his later years, he collected toy IHC machinery and IHC books. He enjoyed attending auction sales and he talked about fishing even though he did not go fishing very often.
Those left to cherish his memory are his sisters Ladonna Waltner of Marion, S.D., and Carolyn (Bill) Beers of Chesterland, Ohio; nephew Christopher Beers (fiancée Mary Roe) of State College, Pa.; nieces Rebecca (Caleb) Kuzman and their children, Micah and Josie, and Elizabeth (Adam) Sipe of Peru, Ind.; along with many friends.
Welcoming him home are his parents, Rolland and Lucille Waltner, who preceded him in death.
A memorial service was held at the Salem-Zion Mennonite Church Saturday, June 16, with Pastor Corey Miller officiating. Pallbearers were David Janssen, Calvin Janssen, Steve Graber, Cordell Graber, Kevin Albrecht and Clayton Kaufman. LeRoy Epp was an honorary pallbearer. Interment was in the church cemetery.