A sad day for me as Walter Bruening passes away

I can’t count the number of years that I have known Walter and learned so much from him about friendship, kindness, life and more. Hours after hours of talks we had together about the recession, growing up quickly and going to work to help support a family separated by divorce.

A long time railroad clerk, I surprised Walter by bringing an old railroad switching lantern that has been in my family for years. When I pulled it out of the bag Walter immediately said “that’s a nice switch lantern.” He then went on to explain to me more about the lantern than I ever knew. They were placed about a mile apart along railroad tracks. His memory was very, very sharp.

Walter was a kind man, he believed in deeply in helping others. “Be kind to one another” he would tell me over and over again. We both shared the same feeling about helping others. “Commit a random act of kindness each day.” A rule I try to live by as did he and will continue to do so in his honor.

My last visit with Walter was February 16, 2011 at the Rainbow in the lobby. After an hour of talking about the economy, and a host of other topics it was 11:30 am and my hour was up. I told him I had better let him go so he could make it to lunch. He said “there is no hurry Fred, they don’t unlock the doors until noon. Just sit put and lets talk a while longer.” Which we did.

Walter was hospitalized March 31, 2011 and passed away this afternoon at 3:30 pm.

His legacy will live on through his dedication to mankind and hard work.

He will be missed greatly by so many. Many of his interviews are still in the archives of KRTV at http://www.krtv.com/pages/feature-walter-breuning/

You are at piece Walter. Thank you for being a friend.

Fred

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