Wally “Walfred Ray” Bernhardson


BernhardsonWally “Walfred Ray” Bernhardson age 77 of Redwood Falls, formerly of Shelly, MN, passed away peacefully Saturday, October 12, 2013 surrounded by family at Seasons Hospice House.  Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 17 at Christ’s Victory Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls.  Visitation is 5:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 16 at the Redwood Valley Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.  Interment will be at GAR Legion Cemetery in Eagle Bend, MN. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society or Christ Victory Lutheran Building Fund.  Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Wally Bernhardson was born December 11, 1935 in Comstock, MN to Elvin and Florence (Thompson) Bernhardson, the youngest of eight children.  He graduated from Halstad High School in 1953.  Wally was a member of the North Dakota Air National Guard in the late 1950’s.  In 1956 he married Joanne Knudtson.  The couple had seven children: Tim, Pam, Julie, Brenda, Fred, Lea, and Mike.  The couple divorced in 1987.  Wally farmed for many years raising both dairy and beef cattle.  He drove truck for many years and was known by many as “Wallaby”.  He could drive his semi backwards just about as fast as he drove forward, at times for miles.  Wally worked for American Breeders Service and was Program Coordinator for International Coalition for Land and Water Stewardship in the Red River Valley Basin.  After moving to Redwood Falls Wally worked for a local farmer, managed a limo company, and was a field reporter for USDA – Farm Service Agency.  He married Marilyn Taber on December 11, 1988 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls.  Wally was the driving factor who revitalized the local Pheasants Forever chapter and remained the President for 12 years.  He was known as a master woodworker and the tools in the basement and garage are a testimony to his work.  Their home was a labor of love when in 1992 he started the rehabilitation of their Wyoming Street home.  During that time Wally’s two year old grandson came to live with them for many years.  During his lifetime he had many passions that included gardening and the great outdoors.  Many a day was happily spent going after “the big one”, whether it be deer, elk, moose, or pheasant.  Wally’s life was more than a miracle; he lived 40 years longer than the doctors at the Mayo Clinic ever expected as he proved them wrong more than once.

Wally is survived by his wife Marilyn of Redwood Falls and her son Jared (Mollie) Taber of Litchfield; children: Tim (Bev) Bernhardson of Stockton, CA, Pam Neil of Tucson, AZ, Julie (Rob) Meyer of Wahpeton, ND, Brenda Hermanson of Brighton, CO, Fred (Kelly) Bernhardson of Horace, ND, Lea Krabbenhoft of Fargo, ND, and Mike Bernhardson of Redwood Falls; grandchildren: Riley, Connor and Ella Taber, Jeremy, Erik, and Ian Bernhardson, Shawn Meyer, Jessica and Joshua Bernhardson, Brock Hermanson, and Ethan Bernhardson.  He is also survived by siblings: Betty Leiseth, Lucielle Schumann, Lois Bernhardson, Pauline Swanson, Eddie (Barbara) Bernhardson, Helen Kassenborg, Chuck (Helen) Bernhardson; sisters-in-law Adeline Bernhardson and Jeanne (Les) Maciej of Austin, TX; brother-in-law Ron (Laurie) Pooler of Granite Falls; and many nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Pastor Drell, and brothers-in-law Marvin, Alan, and Glenn.


  1. Brett Storsved says:

    Lea and Mike,

    Know that you are in the thoughts and prayers during this difficult time on the loss of your father. Wally was a great person and impacted some many people and causes. He will be missed.

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