The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana



December 14, 2016

Walter Alvin Steingruber was called to his heavenly home on December 5, 2016. Walt was born on March 27, 1927, in the ranch house on the family ranch in Milligan Canyon, near Willow Creek, MT, to Frederick and Marie (Hager) Steingruber. He attended Willow Creek School and graduated from high school in 1945. He entered the army in the fall of 1945 and served in the Korean War. During his time in Korea he developed rheumatic fever and spent several months in an army hospital before returning to the states and being honorably discharged.

After his return, Walt worked in the construction business running large equipment. This began a life-long love of heavy machinery operation, which served him well upon his return to the family ranch. Nobody could get a stack yard flatter or build a road in more rugged terrain than Walt! Walt worked alongside his brothers, John and Herb, on the family ranch he loved, for over 60 years. Walt, John & Herb started working the ranch alongside their mother at very young ages, after the passing of their father. They somehow managed to keep the ranch afloat through very tough times and it was in the family for nearly 100 years. The brothers were very innovative conservationists and were some of the first to develop reservoirs for water conservation in the 1970's. There were many articles written and they received numerous awards and accolades for their efforts.

Walt was a confirmed bachelor until he met Daisy Louise Foran in 1965, and they married on January 11, 1966. Together they raised two daughters, Barb and Julie, who were the apple of his eye.

Through good times and bad, flush and thin, Walt was the most positive person you would ever meet. Everyone he met was considered a friend and he always had a kind word or a helping hand. He was very involved in the community. At one point he attended adult education classes at MSU. He was fluent in his ancestral language of German and went on to teach German to adult students in Three Forks. Walt also published a poetry book and a book about his mother's journey to America.

Walt moved into Parkhaven in Manhattan, MT, in 2011, after selling the family ranch. He was a beloved member of the retirement community and anonymously gave a rose to every lady in Parkhaven on Mother's Day during his 5 years at the retirement community.


Walt was preceded in death by his father and mother, Frederick and Marie (Hager) Steingruber, his brothers, John and Herb Steingruber, and his wife Daisy Louise Steingruber. He is survived by his sister, Jeanette Steingruber Hetu, his daughters and their husbands, Barb and Rusty Terland, Julie and Bob Morton, his grandchildren, Elle Terland, Tom Morton and Jim Morton, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Family and heritage were very important to Walt, who maintained a very close relationship with his extended family, including many cousins and relatives in Germany.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church in Three Forks, MT, Box 857, Three Forks, MT 59752.

Services will be held on Thursday, December 15, at 2:00 pm, at the Willow Creek School Gym. Graveside services will follow with a reception back at the Willow Creek School Gym. We will be celebrating Walt's life at the reception with a traditional German meal and would like everyone to be a part of our celebration. Dad would have it no other way. K & L Mortuaries in charge of arrangements.


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