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Walter E. Nordness

August 15, 1932 December 18, 2019
Walter E. Nordness
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Obituary for Walter E. Nordness

Walter (Wally) E. Nordness, 87, entered his heavenly home on December 18, 2019. He was born August 15, 1932 in Detroit and grew up in Ferndale. He was a long-time resident of Clawson.

Wally was a good Christian man who loved his family and raised them with solid Christian values. Not only was he a veteran who loved and served his country, but he was known as one who served God, his family, and his community. He was the kind of man to give the shirt off his back or the last dime in his pocket to anyone. He wanted to help everyone in any way he could. Strangers were just friends he hadn’t met yet; he certainly was a people person. He was very charming, and boy did he love to make everyone laugh! Everyone loved Wally!

In his younger years, the ever-active Wally played in the basketball state finals as a Senior in high school. He would later join the Army in the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper during the Korean War. He often told the story about when he made a jump and at 1,850 feet in the air, his chute failed to open. Finally, at only 150 feet from the ground, he managed to untangle himself and his chute and fell to the ground with a thud! He was a little shaken up but was unhurt. It was such an impactful event to him, that toward the end of his life, he started getting forgetful and told the story to everyone. Some people thought he was making the story up, but there was an article in the newspaper to prove them wrong (we have it if you want to see)!

He later married the love of his life, Gerry, and were married for 35 years. He raised his three children, John, Christine and Sandy, and as they began to have children of their own, Wally and Gerry became very involved in their grandkids’ lives. They went to all the sporting events and in their spare time, they loved to go on small trips up North, visit John and his kids and Sandy who lived out of state. He was your typical goofy grandpa, always ready with a “dad joke” to put a smile on your face, whether it was “punny” or not. He was the best husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all the way ‘til the end.

Wally was passionate about life, family, Jesus, and sports. He was an avid golfer, and bowler. He loved to play bocce when he went to Florida too. He loved his sports, and was very serious about them. He loved to talk about them. He loved to show off his new strategies and tricks and of course his latest contraptions that he used to improve his game. He really was passionate about teaching everyone, his kids, his grandkids and even strangers willing (or even unwilling) to take a golf tip. His garage was always filled with new gadgets that he was working on. To just meet him, you’d have thought him silly, but to know him, he truly was a very smart and creative man.

He was an active member in his church. He taught Sunday School for many years and enjoyed sharing the love of Jesus with everyone.

After Gerry passed away, he met and married Nell. They did a lot of traveling together, and for several years they would spend the winter in Nokomis, Florida! A great place to have family and friends come to visit and have fun. They loved all the senior park activities … Bingo, bocce, basketball, shuffleboard and even won ribbons in the Senior Olympics. They loved the sunshine and it brought out kids in them again!

Throughout his 87 years on this earth, he made several great friends, and many lasting friendships. He enjoyed game nights playing Farkle, Pinochle and Yahtzee. Now every time you hear thunder, you’ll know it’s Wally just rolling his dice!

Walter is survived by his loving children, John Snitko (Jill) of Marion, Iowa, Christine Bates of Warren and Sandy Roy (Jeff) of Indian Trail, NC. He is also survived by his six cherished grandchildren, Jason, Ashley, Scott, Amanda, Kyle and Katie and his three great-grandchildren, Coen, Madison and Aris. Walter is preceded in death by his first wife of 35 years, Gerry and his second wife of 14 years, Nell.

A Funeral Service will be held on Sunday, December 22, 2019 at 3pm at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church 2225 E. 14 Mile Road, Birmingham, Michigan 48009. Friends may visit at church beginning at 2:30pm.

Memorials appreciated to the charity of donor’s choice.


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