Condolence & Memory Journal

Thank You
Mr. Dennis Walters

Thank you, Mr. Walters. We miss you. Today we stand in the harvest of the stories, of the memories and of the life you lived. The stories you shared and the gifts you planted will be remembered and continue to grow.

The times Aindreas and I spent around your kitchen table and downstairs playing checkers will never be forgotten. Wide-eyed, Aindreas loved sitting down on the piano bench. Your welcomed support and listening ear delighted Aindreas as he played his latest tunes. Demonstrated his growing ballet skills and shared with you the newest African rhythms he played on his djembe drum.

The stories continued. How you're growing up without a bicycle impacted and shaped the future of Walter's Gardens. Your desire for your children to have bicycles became the propelling inspiration for your business. Through your efforts and skills, you provided bikes for your children and the means for other families to provide bikes for their children.

A Walter's Garden's catalog ignited a sparkle in your eyes. My grandchildren

Your face lite up, your smile widened.

They did this Expression-filled words reflected the delight and awed-amazement at their skills and dedication. Each one's contributions reflected in the vibrant, colorful images cascading through its pages. A new chapter of a story you had begun decades before.

Gathered around the checkerboard in your basement you shared the story about a photo in a rounded, weathered frame. The picture of his wife's family. One transported from the Netherlands to the United States. A picture revealing a small taste of the harsh reality faced by Michigan's early immigrants.

Handwritten letters arrived in the Netherlands from loved ones living in a new country. Each filled with vivid stories about a land with food so plentiful cattle could eat without having to purchase grain. Farmland so fertile settlers harvested more food than townspeople could eat. Stories so enticing, people sold what they had and left what they knew to brave the journey.

Stories about your wife's parents standing on the docks in the Netherlands. Courage overtook fear. Grief tangled with guilt. The smells. The voice behind loved one's words. The death of the life and the people they knew. Good-byes were said to the land, the people and the things which defined their lives. A pillowcase or two of remembrances accompanied them aboard the boat.

Their arms waved. Their eyes stained. Their hearts ached. Their stomachs hurled. The beloved faces of their loved ones fade. Only the story of their memories traveled with them.

Here, people gather, sharing stories filled with memories as we too say our good-byes.

Grace Wolbrink and Aindreas Nightingale

Posted by A friend   March 19, 2019

I just learned about his passing from Diggers magazine (Oregon's growers magazine). I'm saddened to hear of his passing. As a small Farmers Market grower who received starts from Walters Gardens over many years,I spoke to him when I called to get information on helping some ailing plants. I was surprised when he told me that he would send a new flat as they had had trouble with that particular crop. This is not what I was used to hearing from big growers, since I had not called about a problem within 24 hours of receipt of an order. He went on to tell me that I was talking to "Walters himself" and we had a wonderful chat. He will be sorely missed in the horticultural world and we hope future folks in charge will carry on the same honest ethical and kind business practices that Mr Walters personified.

Posted by Joy Nelson - Stanwood, WA   March 06, 2019

The Lord has chosen Dennis to help him in his job of looking after the world. I grieve yet i am proud to have known Dennis and his family, Dennis has achieved what most of hope for, living a life that the lord must be proud of. I look forward to seeing him when my life here on earth is done. Probably the Greatest man i have ever met. Till we meet again Dennis. Ted Biernacki, Teds Greenhouse

Posted by Ted Biernacki - Tinley Park, IL - Friend   January 28, 2019

Dennis was such a kind man. He offered me many words of kindness and praise when I worked at Walters Gardens. My sincere condolences to his family.

Posted by Kirt Oliver - Zeeland, MI - Acquaintance   January 16, 2019

Offering our sincere condolences. May the God of love comfort your heart and make you firm in your time of grief. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17.

Posted by A friend   January 15, 2019

Am honered to have met Dennis over 25 years ago. He was a humble and Godly man. Rest in peace. God bless the family in this time of sorrow and celebration.

Posted by Charlie Kelley - Highland, Hts, KY - Acquaintance   January 14, 2019

I only knew Mr. Walters for 2 months when my dad lived at The Atrium in late 2017, but he was a tablemate of my father's in the diningroom and I had the pleasure of eating with him a few times. He was such an interesting, kind, intelligent gentleman. He was the only resident I said goodbye to after my dad passed. My deepest condolences to your family.

Posted by Linda Plaggemars Boardman - Oxford, OH   January 14, 2019

I am so grateful to have visited with Dennis where he had lived for a season and am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was always so respectful and pleasant. The depth of his faith was evident along with his love for his family. Keeping all of his loved ones in my prayers-Cindy N, Chaplain

Posted by Cindy Nyhoff - Zeeland, MI   January 14, 2019

My condolences and sympathy to the family and friends. We are blessed in many ways of all that he has done for us in showing the graces of our Lords loving hand. He is alive inside forever. Peace and Love Always

Posted by Cheri Ruiz - Holland, MI   January 14, 2019

Dennis's kindness and compassion was always shown in humility and love. A man that was so blessed and so willing to share those blessings with others. When I think of all Dennis has done to bless so many people and grow the kingdom of God it brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful to have known him. I have missed him coming to visit in the seed department this last year, always showing interest in our lives and asking how the horses are doing. My prayer is that God will continue to grow His Kingdom through the seeds that Dennis has sown here on earth. He will be deeply missed. My sympathy to his family,
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died."

Posted by Gwyn Dykstra - Hamilton, MI - Friend   January 13, 2019

Sympathy to your families on the passing of Uncle Dennis. He was such a kind and caring man,living out his faith showing kindness to all. We are so glad we can rejoice knowing he is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior!

Posted by Bob & Jan (Walters) Drenten - Orange City, IA - Family   January 12, 2019

So sorry for your loss Robert & Mary!! I Thess.4:13-18

Posted by Sharon Brainard - Ionia, MI - Family   January 11, 2019

So sorry to hear about Uncle Denny's passing. Unfortunately I am out of the country to express my condolences in person. My deepest sympathy to the family.

Posted by Doug and Lisa Walters    January 11, 2019

If you were to look up the words compassionate, genuine and truthfulness in a dictionary you would find a picture of Dennis. He was the most caring and gentle man I know.

As does the wind to the smallest flowers, we too, plant seeds of love into other's souls to bloom. Those who touch us live forever within us.

Wishing you comfort and peace.

Posted by Jayne Roberts - Minneapolis, MN - Friend   January 11, 2019