Julie Walter, 51, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at CHI St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota. She was surrounded by her immediate family: her father, Ray, and sisters, Cassie and Abbie. She had been in the hospital for 14 days battling health issues related to congestive heart failure.
Julie Lyn Walter was born on February 28, 1972, in Bismarck, North Dakota. She was the third of four daughters born to Barbara and Ray Walter. She was raised alongside her sisters at the family’s home on 11th Street NW in Mandan. As a young child, Julie spent many afternoons playing with her sisters and friends in the backyard overlooking the prairie and hills south of Mandan.
Julie was baptized at Christ the King Catholic Church, attended grade school there and graduated from Mandan Senior High School in 1991. Following high school, Julie worked for Pride, Inc. for many years performing filing and janitorial services at different businesses in Bismarck. Most recently, Julie worked evenings at the Federal buildings in downtown Bismarck. Julie was a hard worker and dedicated to her employers. Oftentimes, she would miss family functions to pick-up additional shifts on evenings and weekends.
Julie loved to spend time with family, including her parents, her sisters, her nieces, and her nephew. Her years were filled with many family gatherings and adventures. She loved fireworks. Many 4th of July holidays were spent sitting on lawn chairs in the backyard watching the fireworks display from the old Mandan rodeo grounds. Halloween was her third favorite holiday, closely behind Christmas and the 4th. She always dressed in cat costumes and would go trick-or-treating at Kirkwood Mall. Julie lived with her parents for her entire life.
Julie loved to travel. Longstanding family traditions included attending concerts at the North Dakota State Fair and the Norsk Hostfest as well as summer trips to Medora and the Black Hills. During trips to Medora, she met Cowboy Lyle Glass when he was guiding trail rides at the Medora Stables. Julie became one of his greatest admirers. She appreciated having their photo taken together each year, as well as their many visits.
Julie loved horses. The highlights of her summer trips were trail rides. Over the years, Julie became a regular at the Peaceful Valley Ranch stables in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Blue Bell Lodge stables in Custer State Park. Julie also rode horses at Fort Lincoln State Park south of Mandan. Due to her advanced horsemanship, she was often asked to lead the rides. Sometimes she got along with her horse and sometimes she didn’t. If she didn’t, the horse would hear about it.
Souvenir shopping was another favorite pastime for Julie. She would spend hours exploring the small shops in Medora and throughout the Black Hills. Over the years she developed a friendship with the proprietor of her favorite shop, the Hitching Post Gift Shop in Medora. Ray was told that Julie was a shrewd shopper and would frequently haggle over prices.
Julie loved cats. She spent hours playing with cats at her aunts’ and uncles’ farms and enjoyed caring for them. Julie was also an avid photographer. She took thousands of photos of cats, horses, family events, vacations, and holiday yard displays around Bismarck-Mandan.
Julie enjoyed celebrating family milestones at local area restaurants. However, Julie’s favorite restaurant destination, by far, was her Aunt Jean’s and Uncle Bob’s bar and restaurant, the Pain Reliever, in Nekoma, North Dakota. The family would make the long drive to Nekoma to attend Saturday mass at St. Edward’s Catholic Church and have dinner at the restaurant. When it got busy, Julie was known to jump in and bus tables. She loved the Pain Reliever and told her dad she wanted to work there.
Julie will be greatly missed by her father, Ray. Family and friends know that Julie and Ray were inseparable and constant companions. Julie did not drive, and Ray was her personal chauffeur. Ray’s days were often a full itinerary filled with rides to support Julie’s many activities, including shopping trips, rides to work, medical appointments, Community Options activities, events at the Bismarck Civic Center, and local concerts and performances. Some of her favorite times with her dad involved browsing for samples at Ag Day and Pride of Dakota.
Julie was a semi-professional shopper and trips to Kirkwood Mall and Walmart could become marathons. Regularly, Ray would patiently wait in the car until Julie was finished, sometimes dozing off in the parking lot after an hour or two. Recently a fellow Walmart shopper knocked on Ray’s window to see if he was still alive!
Julie was a passionate collector, and the family home is filled with her treasures. Over the years Julie collected many things, but her favorites were miniature antique lamps, Beanie Babies, Star Trek action figures, Schleich horse figurines, comic books, CDs, DVDs, and Christmas decorations. Her favorites were on rotating display in her bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the home office, and the bathroom. Julie was a big Lorie Line fan, attending her holiday concerts and collecting Lorie’s holiday bells for many years. Lorie’s bells were some of Julie’s most prized possessions.
Julie had a wicked sense of humor and could give as good as she got. Family activities frequently included a bit of good-natured back-and-forth banter and many of Julie’s jokes and quick come backs are family legends to this day!
Julie’s family would like to thank the staff of Pride, Inc. for the employment support and guidance they have provided her for many years. The family also wishes to thank the staff of Community Options for the social support and companionship shared with Julie. Following an activity with Community Options, Julie would oftentimes have a smile on her face and a bounce to her step — not to mention impeccably polished fingernails. Also, her family wishes to thank the staff at CHI St. Alexius Hospital who provided professional and compassionate care throughout Julie’s many hospital stays and final days, The family would like to especially acknowledge the support of Kadie Eriksson.
Julie will be greatly missed by many.
Julie is survived by her father, Ray Walter; sisters, Cassie Walter, Abbie Krebsbach (Jason), and Emilie Walter; nieces, Kira Martin, and Eva Krebsbach; nephew, Kort Krebsbach; and great nephew, Briar Martin; uncles and aunts, Tom and Suzanne Walter, Bob and Jean Wilhelmi, and Lee and Alice Brotherton; and many cousins. She was preceded in death by her mother, Barbara Walter.
A mass of Christian burial for Julie will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Devils Lake, North Dakota, with reception to follow, all at a later date. Interment will be at the Devils Lake Cemetery.