Obituary: Walter Urban, 91, of Fountain

January 16, 2024

Wally Urban

Obituary: Walter Urban, 91, of Fountain

Walter Urban passed away into eternal life on Sunday, January 14, 2024, just two months after losing his wife of 69 years, Evelyn Urban, in November. Walter Frank Urban was born the youngest child of Ignatius and Eva Urban of Fountain on February 18, 1932 in a snowstorm and left the same way, in a Michigan snowstorm.

Married on July 31, 1954, Wally and Evelyn celebrated 69 years together.  They lived in their Fountain home for more than 60 years and one of Wally’s favorite things was when all of the family gathered together there.

Wally was the last of his immediate family living and was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters Adelle Kuzma and Ann Jaarda; his brothers Joseph, Stanley, Johnny, Tony and James, who was killed in action during World War II. Wally will be greatly missed by his three daughters and two sons: Lorraine (Kenny) Baushke, Carolyn (Steve) McVicker, Thomas (Renee) Urban, Larry (Sherrie) Urban and Suzi (Robert) Panetta. Wally was a loving grandfather to 14 grandchildren: Amanda (Josh) Yelenick, Sam (Claire) Baushke, Hannah (Steve) Newell, Garett Urban, Kyle (Marina) Urban, Ben (Anne) Urban, Matthew Urban, Nathan Urban, Anna (Jay) Oliynyk, Andrew (Faith) Panetta, Chandler (Katie) Panetta, Logan (Kendall) Panetta, Heather (Chris Vanderhaag, and Adam (Sheryl) McVicker; seven great-grandchildren, Leo and Hazel Baushke, Elise, Brynn and Caleb Newell and Jack and Cole Vanderhaag.

Wally spent his career as a tool and die maker. Most of his working life he worked for Harrington Tool Company in Ludington where he retired in 1997.  More than 60 years ago, Wally and Evelyn bought 20 acres and a shack in Fountain. The home still had an outhouse, there was a barn and nothing much else. They moved there with their five kids and Wally worked all day at the die shop and then would come home and work all night to make the shack into a home.  With the help of Evelyn’s father, Warren Genson, and the whole family, they dug a basement out by hand, added plumbing and later a large garage. Much later, they added an expansion. Wally was very proud of the corner property close to several lakes and all of the work there was done by his skillful hands.  Wally also enjoyed farming and hobby farmed until his body no longer physically allowed.  He and Evelyn raised cows, chickens and pigs on the farm as well as all sorts of vegetables, strawberries and raspberries.

One of Wally’s favorite memories was of a time share he bought up at Shanty Creek.  Every year for 10 years, Evelyn would cook for weeks ahead to feed the whole crew and all would gather for a large Urban good time.  Typically, it was around Wally’s birthday and he got to spend that day with his whole family.  He loved those memories. Wally was a faithful parishioner and an usher at St. Mary’s church in Custer for 60-plus years and the indention of his shoes in his “spot” can still be seen in the back of the church.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Walter at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 20 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer with Rev. Daniel DePew as Celebrant. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at the church.  Burial will take place at Sugar Grove Cemetery later this spring. Those who wish to remember Wally with a memorial donation are asked to please consider St. Mary’s Church.

Please visit Wally’s memory page at www.wymanfuneralservice.com to share a memory or tribute of Wally with his family.

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