Walter Russell Kolstad

Walter Russell Kolstad, 82, of Galata, Mont. passed away on Aug. 23, 2021, at the Peace Hospice in Great Falls, Mont. after a valiant struggle against Parkinson’s Disease.

Graveside services with military honors will take place at the Grandview Cemetery, located north of Galata, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at l p.m. A light lunch will follow at the Kolstad Ranch where Walter spent his last years.

Walter was born in Shelby, Mont. on Dec. 24, 1938, to Russell W. Kolstad and Colleen (Maria) B. Morin. Walter was joined by two sisters, Juanita and Teddy. Walter lived in many places, including Belt, Missoula and California. He attended school only for a short time and managed to teach himself to read and write with the help of his dear aunt and uncle, Martha and Leo Kolstad.

Walter served over 11 years in the U.S. Army. Walt was with the paratroopers and infantry in Germany for three years and was sent out to the Berlin Crisis and Czechoslovakian Crisis. He was also stationed with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash., and in Hawaii with the 24th Division, which took him to the Philippines and Okinawa. 

Upon his return to the USA, he served with the Fourth Army Division in Texas. He was then sent to Vietnam. Walter served in three tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Walter received a medical discharge after being wounded in Vietnam. Walter served his country well.

After his service, Walter returned to the family farm where he enjoyed many years of farming and ranching. He would lend a hand to anyone who needed help with cow work, fencing, farming, construction, shelterbelt trimming and gardening. He enjoyed time spent with his friends and neighbors over a cup of coffee or a family meal.

He especially enjoyed his Alaska adventure with good friend and fellow veteran, Leonard Matteson. They traveled from Galata to Alaska in a car named “Homer.” Many trips were taken by these two adventurers to retrieve antique cars to be added to the historical collection. 

In later years, Walter enjoyed gardening and sharing his bountiful produce with the neighborhood. Walter was an active member of the VFW Galata Post and the American Legion. He honored numerous fellow veterans at military funerals and memorial services throughout the area. 

Walter is survived by his daughters, Monika (George) Taylor of Whitewater, Mont., and Dyma (Keith) Anderson, of Shelley, Idaho; his sisters, Juanita Kolstad, of Missoula, and Teddy Permann, of Richland, Wash.; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Walter will be greatly missed by his neighbors, friends, and family. 

Walt received excellent care from the Cut Bank VA, the Glacier Care Center, Marias Care Center, Marias Medical Center, Benefis Hospital and Benefis Peace Hospice.

Memorial donations are suggested to the Sweetgrass/Sunburst VFW.

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