Feb. 5, 1912 - Nov. 27, 2011
Walt was born on Feb. 5, 1912, in Zeeland, N.D., to Adolf and Pauline Sinkbeil. He was the eldest of 12 children. He passed away peacefully at age 99 at the Booker Rest Home in Dayton. He graduated from Eureka South Dakota High School in 1930. In his early years he worked for the lumber yard in Zeeland that helped foster his lifelong love of woodworking. He started coming, along with his brothers and friends, out West to work seasonally in the pea harvest. He and Ella Kilber were married on Sept. 2, 1934, in Ada, Minn. They had two children, Diane and Jim. In 1938, Walt, Ella and Diane moved to Dayton, where Walt was offered a full-time job by Alfred Richter in the seed department at Green Giant Co. He soon became the foreman of the seed warehouse and a seed pea fieldman, eventually retiring in 1974.
In his younger years he played baseball on town teams in Zeeland. He was a lifelong baseball fan, enjoyed going to major league games and watching baseball on television. Walt was an avid bridge player. Along with Ella or his longtime bridge partner, Bob Miller, he won many tournaments. He continued playing bridge up until his death. Walt's other lifetime passion was carpentry and woodworking. In the 1950s he built the house that has been the family home for all these years. He made furniture, cabinets, boxes and gifts for many family and friends. Walt spent many happy times bird hunting with family and friends and a succession of Black Labrador bird dogs.
Walt faithfully attended church each Sunday at the Lutheran Redeemer Church. He often passed out quarters to the children.
Through the years, Walt's and Ella's warmth and generosity made their home a gathering place for relatives and friends. Many happy occasions were celebrated there and Walt always enjoyed the company. After Ella's death in 1996, Walt continued to live at home until May of 2010 when he became a resident of Booker Rest Home.
He was preceded in death by Ella, his loving wife of 62 years. He is survived by his daughter, Diane (and Hisashi) Kajikuri, and by his son, Jim (and Bev) Sinkbeil. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Nathan, Amy, Miya, Brian and Janie and by his great-grandchildren, Ray, Vince, Ella, Braelyn, Brystol and Stella.
Private graveside services and burial will be in the Dayton City Cemetery. A memorial service will be celebrated on Feb. 5, 2012, in honor of his 100th birthday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the charity of the donor's choice. xx