Orlow Medwin Walstad

                    October 9, 1919  -  October 20, 2009


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Life Legacy


Born October 9, 1919 in LeRoy, Minnesota of Norwegian heritage to Olaf J. and Marie Hauge Walstad. In his formative years, he learned the clothing and tailoring trade in his father’s store. He earned an Eagle Scout award with the Boy Scouts and sang in the Lutheran Church choir, where he developed his life long love for music. After graduating from LeRoy High School, he attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he played football and earned a degree in Biology and Chemistry. He taught in high school in Preston, Minnesota, then returned to Luther College as an assistant football coach.

In November of 1941, he enlisted in the Navy, taught seamanship at Notre Dame, earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant, attended Mine Warfare School in Miami, Florida and Yorktown, Virginia and commanded the yard minesweeper YMS 28 in the Mediterranean area. He also served in the Pacific theatre. He met his wife, Juanita Garrett, a beautiful Georgia Peach, and 1st Lieutenant in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (W.A.A.C.). They were married May 22, 1943 at the First Presbyterian Church in South Bend, Indiana.

After the war, he returned to Luther College where he was head of the Biology Department. They moved to Joplin in the fall of 1946, and he went to work for Thurston Chemical. He later became President of Financial Reserve Life Insurance Company. In 1961, he was employed by McCartney Manufacturing Company in Baxter Springs, Kansas until his retirement as President of the company in 1985. While with McCartney, he was instrumental in the development of the tetra-hedral anvil press used to manufacture industrial diamonds, and the development, manufacture and commercial use of the Fluid Jet Cutting System and sold the world’s first fluid jet cutting system. He traveled around the world and conducted business internationally.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, served as an Elder and was a faithful member of the choir, where he enjoyed singing bass for many years. He was a member of Rotary Club, Twin Hills Golf Club and enjoyed playing golf. He was active in civic and charitable causes, was given the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts, the highest awards given by the Boy Scouts to volunteers. His family considered him a very talented man, which included being a handyman who could fix anything, an artist, a barber who cut his sons’ hair, a short order cook and a master popcorn popper. He had a wonderful sense of humor, was dearly loved by his family and was known as Gramps by his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his infant granddaughter Allison Walstad. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Juanita G. Walstad, and his five children, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren; Med Walstad and his wife Knoxie of Atlanta, Georgia, their son Win Walstad and his wife Stephanie of Santa Barbara, California and their two daughters Palmer and Taylor, Blair Walstad Burson and her husband Turner of Griffin, Georgia and their two daughters Jennie Knox and Pressley, Carlton Walstad and his wife Shannon of Atlanta, Georgia and their daughter Emma; Joe Walstad and his wife Marti of Rome, Georgia; Steve Walstad and his wife, Dana of Joplin, Missouri; April Walstad of Santa Barbara, California; and John Walstad and his wife, Shelly, of Edmond, Oklahoma and their two daughters Whitney Walstad and Chelsey Walstad of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Visitation will be held Sunday, October 25 at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin from 4 pm-6pm. Funeral service will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin at 1 pm on Monday, October 26, with burial services to be held at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Webb City. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thornhilldillon.com.

Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, the Ozark Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, or Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.






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Born: October 9, 1919

Place of Birth: LeRoy, MN USA

Death: October 20, 2009

Place of Death: Joplin, MO

Occupation: President of McCartney Manufacturing

Hobbies: Handyman, artist and barber

Organizations: First Presbyterian Church Elder and Choir member, Rotary Club, Twin Hills Golf Club, Boy Scouts of America


Juanita Walstad, Spouse

Med Walstad, Son

Joe Walstad, Son

Steve Walstad, Son

April Walstad, Daughter

John Walstad, Son

Win Walstad, Grandchild

Blair Walstad Burson, Grandchild

Carlton Walstad, Grandchild

Whitney Walstad, Grandchild

Chelsey Walstad, Grandchild

Emma Walstad, Great Grandchild

Palmer Walstad, Great Grandchild

Taylor Walstad, Great Grandchild

Jennie Knox, Great Grandchild

Pressley Knox, Great Grandchild


Olaf Walstad, Father

Marie Hauge, Mother

Allison Walstad, Grandchild


Memorial donations may be made to:
First Presbyterian Church, Ozark Trails Boy Scouts of America or Luther College in Decorah, Iowa

This memorial provided by:
Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary