Erlin Walter

Erlin W. Walter, 71, of Decorah, passed away Sunday morning, Nov. 17, 2019, at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, after an 11-year battle with amyloidosis. Funeral services are at 11 a.. Thursday, Nov. 21, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with

Rev. Chad Huebner officiating. Burial is in the Burr Oak Cemetery with military honors provided by Decorah’s veterans and military organizations, and U. S. Army personnel. Visitation was from 4 to 7 p. m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah and Thursday beginning at 10 a. m., one hour before the service, at First Lutheran Church. Organist is Lindsey Lund. Soloist is Tonya Tollefsrud (“In the Garden” and “The Lord’s Prayer”). Congregational hymns are “Just As I Am, without One Plea” and “Faith of Our Fathers.” Honorary bearers are John and Linda Christopherson, Ken and Susan Hennings, Dennis and Joy Wohlfeil, Greg and Shirley Wright, Dick and Lela Numedahl, Gary Zidlicky, Mike Whalen, Lynn and Marlene Wemark, Helen Smith, Vicki Kelly, Cliff and Pat Carey and Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office. Casket bearers are Nicholas Thompson, Shane Sexton, Pete Numedahl, Adam Tollefsrud, Dan Dawley, Duane Tlusty and Brian Dinger.

Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Erlin Wesley Walter was born Dec. 9, 1947, in La Crosse, Wis., to Howard Bertis and Pearl Henrietta (Blaess) Walter. He attended grade school at Lost Nation No. 8 and Burr Oak Village School, where he graduated from the eighth grade. He attended Thomas Roberts High School in Decorah through his junior year, then he spent his senior year at North Winneshiek High School, graduating with their first class in 1966. After graduation Erlin worked for Black Hawk Construction which was in Decorah building the new library on the Luther College campus. Erlin then worked for UPS and Midland Cooperative, prior to starting his law enforcement career.

Erlin was united in marriage to Wanda Thompson May 1, 1971, at Peace Lutheran Church in Ridgeway. They were blessed with two sons, Darrin and Dan.

Erlin served as a volunteer with the Decorah Fire Department from 1971-1977. Erlin was a deputy sheriff for the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years, from 1979-2003. He was always very proud of his service with the sheriff’s office. He served in the United States Army Reserve for 30 years, enlisting in 1966. He spent much of his career in B Company 389th EN BN in Decorah as a First Sergeant and finished his career as the Acting Command Sergeants Major for the 372nd EN BDE out of Des Moines. He was the senior enlisted advisor while serving with the 372nd, responsible for 5,000 soldiers.

In November 2006 he purchased the Decorah Cleaners and has continued to own it and run it with his son Darrin. He continued to farm throughout his entire life and was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Decorah.

Erlin is survived by his wife Wanda; two sons, Darrin (Terri Byrnes) Walter of Decorah and Dan (Mollie) Walter of Ames; and four grandchildren: Kayla Walter, Kaitlin Walter, Hallie Walter and Mitch Walter.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Pearl Walter; his father-and mother-in-law, Ernest and Lois Thompson and his nephew, Mickey Thompson.

Erlin continued to serve to the end by registering for the Iowa Donor Network and providing his corneas so that two people would gain vision.