Wallace John Krausch was born on a farm June 7, 1932, in Valley City, N.D. He was the eldest of five children born to John J. and Zelma Pauline (Selig) Krausch. He passed away May 7, 2021, at his home in Chehalis, Wash., at the age of 88.
Wally was a proud United States Army veteran of the Korean War, serving 10 months in a combat zone. His most significant duty assignment was with the heavy tank company, 7th Infantry. He was honorably discharged in 1952, with the rank of sergeant, and was awarded the Korean War Combat Infantry Badge with two Bronze Campaign Stars.
Wally studied auto mechanics at the North Dakota State School of Science on the G.I. Bill. In 1954, he moved to Washington to work as a railroad lineman for Northern Pacific Railway, which by the time of his retirement in 1994, had become Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
On June 21, 1955, he chanced to see a pretty girl, Judy Kaija, in Winlock, Wash., and doubled back to introduce himself. Two weeks later, he proposed. They were married Sept. 19, 1955, and celebrated 65 years together. The railroad moved them to numerous towns all over the state, including Winlock, Centralia, and Chehalis. They settled in Centralia again in 1990, and moved to a retirement community in Chehalis in 2018.
Wally had a talent for fixing things and he loved helping people. He was devoted to his family. Among his many hobbies were travel, photography, and restoring 1950's Buicks. Memberships included the American Legion, Centralia Veterans of Foreign Wars, Cle Elum Eagles (past president), and the Society for Creative Anachronism, where he was elevated to the Order of the Pelican for service. He was also a volunteer fireman in Cle Elum.
Survivors include his wife at home, Judy; four children, Leslie (Max) Slape of Rainier, Ore., Jon Krausch of Salem, Ore., Lorna (Chris) Shelton of Centralia, Wash., and Leah (Bryan) MacKenzie of Stuttgart, Germany; three siblings, Virginia Krausch of Chehalis, Wash., Verna Lund of Mandan, N.D., and Dallas (Carolyn) Krausch of Rapid City, S.D.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. A brother, Kermit, died Nov. 21, 2020.
Funeral will be held at 2 p.m., today, Thursday, May 13, 2021, at Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock, with Rev. Ralph Carr presiding. Viewing is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A celebration of life and ash interment at Winlock Cemetery with military honors will be scheduled in late June.