Navy Badge
  • Name: Walter "Walt" Wilbur Mester
  • Location of Birth: Coleraine, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: December 1, 1925
  • Date of Death: July 26, 2009
  • Parents: Louis Mester & Mildred (Lanum) Mester
  • High School and Class: 1944 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: COX (Coxswain)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: June 22, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: May 30, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Walter Wilbur Mester
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: December 1, 1925
    Birth Place: Coleraine, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Coleraine, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: December 1, 1943
    Employer: Student
    Weight: 160
    Height: 6-2
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Black
    Next of Kin: L.D. Mester, Coleraine, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - February 1946 – “Walter Mester, stationed in California, writes: “Serviceman’s Club: I received your birthday card and dollar and also your Christmas box. I want to thank you very much for everything. Those snapshots sure make a guy homesick. That snow sure looks good. This weather out here is nice, but I’ll take it where it’s a little cooler. I want to thank Dad Lammon for The Iron News which I have been receiving regularly. I enjoy reading it very much. It’s always welcome.”

    Newspaper article: May 1946 – “Among Minnesota Navy discharges of May 30 is listed Walter W. Mester, coxswain. Walter is now home after two and a half or three year’s service in the Pacific area. Walter made several trips to the Philippines, but never was able to contact his uncle Walter, who took such a notable part in Philippine guerilla warfare.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Walter Mester married Lorrayne Reader in 1949 in Minnesota. He worked many years as a Sheet Metal Worker and served as Secretary of Sheet Metal Local 505 prior to becoming Business Agent in 1966, retiring in 1984. He served as Secretary for Building Trades Council, President of the Tri-State Council, Board of Directors at Itasca Community College, and was a charter member of the Grand Rapids Curling Club. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Loyal Order of Moose, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

    Walter died in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and is buried in Harris Cemetery, Itasca County, Minnesota (3-30-4-2). He is survived by three daughters, LeAnne (Jim) Brecht, Elizabeth (Gary) Barrett, and Patricia (Dale Sellner) Mester; a son, Walter (Connie Rajala) Mester Jr.; seven grandsons; sisters-in-law, Eve Mester, Joyce Mester, Mary (Tom) Lyden, and Bertha Reader; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lorrayne in 2003; a son, Craig; a son-in-law, Dennis Liila; two sisters, Margaret Ronchetti and Winnifred Legueri; and two brothers, Robert and Donald Mester.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):