Walter "Wally" Uhlman, 92, joined his bride of 63 years in heaven on October 2, 2016. He passed away at the Marian Manor Health Care Center in Glen Ullin, ND. Before moving to Marian Manor, Wally lived in Mandan, ND his entire life.
Services will be held at the Weigel Funeral Home in Mandan on Friday, October 7 at 11:30 CT with burial at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery following the service with Military Honors provided by Mandan VFW Post #707 and American Legion Post # 40 along the United States Marine Honor Guards. Visitation will be held one hour before the service.
Wally was born August 7, 1924 to George and Stella (Frederick) Uhlman in Mandan. He attended Mandan Public Schools until his senior year. That year he quit school, lied about his age, and joined the US Marines Corps to help fight for his country during World War II. He was trained as a machine gunner and paratrooper. After his training, Wally fought in the Pacific Theater where he saw combat on the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Arriving with the first wave on Iwo Jima, he witnessed the raising of both American Flags a few hundred feet away on Mt. Saribachi. On the fourteenth day, he was significantly wounded in the left arm awarding him the Purple Heart. He spent the next year in a hospital in New York City until he was honorable discharged as a corporal in 1945.
When he returned to Mandan, he met the love of his life, Patricia "Pat" Sagmiller. They wed during a blizzard on January 13, 1950 (Friday the 13th). He always introduced her as his bride. The happily married couple settled in Mandan to begin a family of 11 children (8 girls and 3 boys).
Wally began working on the Northern Pacific Railroad as a brakeman in 1950. He retired from the railroad as a conductor in 1985 after making many lifelong friends. He was inducted into the North Dakota Railroad Hall of Fame in 2011. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW and United Transportation Union.
Wally's life was very full. He and his buddies were constantly traveling to different fishing sites in Canada to see who could catch the biggest fish (or at least tell the biggest fish tale). Wally and Pat took their family on many fishing and camping adventures throughout Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada. Wally always looked forward to pheasant hunting with all his relatives in the Flasher area. He also enjoyed playing golf with his sons, sons-in-law, and friends. One of his favorite things to do was to give his grandkids rides around the neighborhood on his golf cart.
Wally is survived by his daughters: Danni (Bill) Boehm, Marcia Heidt, Joy Kopp, Mary (Monte) Boehm, all of Mandan, Lori (Terry) Droll, Polson, MT, Amy Uhlman, Bismarck, Lynn McSpadden, Kansas City, MO and Kathy Mata, Audubon, MN; sons, Jay (Mary) Uhlman, Bismarck, John (Kristen) Uhlman, Liberty, MO and Jim (Carol) Uhlman, Motley, MN; all his loving 35 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild; one sister-in-law, Donna Werner, Basin WY.
Wally is preceded in death by his bride Pat; his parents; his brothers, Gordon and Norman; his sister, Marietta Mundy and one son-in-law, Bob McSpadden.
In Lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery or the North Dakota Railroad Museum in Wally's name.