On August 22, 2022, heaven opened its doors and the angels came to Froedtert Holy Family Memorial Hospital to take Walter M. “Buddy” Christoffel home.
Walter was born on May 24, 1924, at his parent’s home in Two Rivers. Beloved son of the late Walter F. and Regina (Raether) Christoffel, Buddy interrupted his high school education to serve the State of Wisconsin in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He then fulfilled his patriotic duty by enlisting in the United States Marine Corp, where he trained as an infantry scout. Buddy was assigned to the G2-5 Battalion of the 1st Marine Division. This division fought the most dangerous battles in the Pacific Theatre. More Marines were wounded and killed in the G2-5 Battalion than any other division that fought the Japanese in the Pacific. Buddy was wounded in battle on two separate Marine invasions, and he was awarded two purple hearts along with other commendations upon his discharge in December of 1945.
On January 4, 1947, he was united in marriage with Leona A. Monk, a classmate at St. John’s Lutheran School.
Following his military service, Buddy returned to Two Rivers, working initially at Mirro Aluminum Company before joining the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier. As he recalls, he was one of the “old bucks” that walked 15 miles per day carrying that big old leather bag, through all four seasons of weather. And as always, he never complained. One of his favorite words of wisdom was to simply, persevere. He retired in 1984 after 26 years of service.
Buddy was a FISHERMAN. It was his passion. He actually retired in May on his 60th birthday, even though retiring in September of that year would have given him a larger pension. He said at the time, “one more summer of having the freedom to fish, whenever he wished, was worth more to him than money.” Who would have thought he would have 38 more summers?
Working the small trout streams in Northeastern Wisconsin brought him much joy. He could catch and “cook” brook trout with the best of them. The northern pike living in the East and West Twin rivers had no chance when Buddy decided to sit on the shore. As he aged, his main pursuits were lake perch, lake trout, coho and king salmon.
Bud loved to hunt deer during the third week of November every year. He and seven of his very best friends pitched an army squad tent deep in the woods, played sheepshead, drank beer and hunted together for many years. When that group broke up, Bud and Dennis hunted together for almost thirty years.
Buddy loved his father deeply. As his father became less mobile, Buddy would take him to “catch a beer” many Sunday mornings for one hour after church. It was not uncommon to find Bud, his father and many of his other buddies at Jimmy’s Bar. They would all enjoy a glass of beer or two and then head home to enjoy Sunday with their respective families.
He is survived by his three children and their spouses: Dennis (Patti) Christoffel, Wade (Kathy) Christoffel and Wendy (Jerry) Kusiak; six grandchildren: Andrea (Michael) Domask, Benjamin (Brenda) Christoffel, Spencer Christoffel (and partner Samantha), Tyler (Nancy)Rivera, Raissa (Dane) Hansen and Gina Kusiak (and partner Justin); 10 great-grandchildren: Kroy, Tenley, Finnegan, Emmett, Tucker, Oskar, Jack, James, Joseph and Jude; two brothers and three sisters-in-law: William Christoffel, Norm (Lorna) Christoffel, Helen Christoffel and Ruth Monk; one sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor (Allen) Juza, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends survive. He was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Leona Christoffel; his son, Michael Christoffel; two brothers and three sisters-in-law: Karl (Norene) Christoffel, Everette Christoffel, Darlene Christoffel and Cecelia Christoffel; two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law Edward (Jean) Levy and Ervin “Bob” Monk.
A funeral to celebrate Buddy’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 3607 45th Street, with Rev. David Arndt and Rev. Steve Kruschel officiating. Relatives and friends may greet the family on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at the church from 9:30 am until the time of service at 11:00 am. Military honors will be accorded by the Two Rivers American Legion Post #165 and VFW Post #1248.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to the family by visiting www.lakeshorefamilyfuneralhomes.com
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the doctors and nurses of Froedtert Holy Family Memorial Hospital. Very special thank you to Dr. Hiebert and RN’s Molly, Trisha & Kriss.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St John’s Ev. Lutheran Church or a special charity of your choosing.
Our father, Walter (Buddy) Christoffel, was a humble and quiet man who truly emulated the principles of unwavering Christian faith.
We thank God for the many years he has allowed Buddy to touch our lives, although we will miss him greatly, we pray for the strength to live the rest of our lives to God’s Glory until we meet with him again in our eternal home.
The Lakeshore Family Funeral Homes, Klein & Stangel location, is assisting the family with arrangements.