Wednesday, May 16, 2018
2:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Rosary 7 pm
Thursday, May 17, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
St. Genevieve - St. Maurice Parish
Livonia, MI 48152
In state 10:15 am until Mass begins
Thursday, May 17, 2018
12:30 PM EDT
St. Hedwig Cemetery
In procession following the funeral Mass.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Walter Humann would agree that he was truly extraordinary. Guided by an unwavering faith, his life exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved through his selfless acts of service. With a heart for those who can’t always speak for themselves, Walter made a significant impact in the lives of so many over the years. A more devoted family man would be hard to find, and it was easy to see that the children and grandchildren he shared with his true love were his greatest source of pride and joy. Life will never be the same without Walter here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were hard to find, the unemployment rate soared, and things only became more dire when a drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Although there were trials all around them, Bernard and Elizabeth Humann were filled with great joy as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Walter B. on November 9, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois. The oldest of three children, he was joined in his family by his brothers, Robert and Leo. Walter’s parents emigrated from Germany to the United States in the early 1930s with his father learning the tool and die trade in Germany. His mother was a seamstress, which she also learned while in Germany.
Life wasn’t easy for Walter as he was placed in various foster homes for several years from the time he was eight years old. He spent some time living in Chicago, Detroit, and Richmond, Michigan. Walter was a devoted brother to his two younger brothers, overcoming his many setbacks in the process. Despite his own difficult upbringing, Walter also went on to become a devoted husband and father who worked tirelessly to provide for his family.
Throughout his life Walter was known for his willingness to work hard. He began working as a newspaper carrier for The Detroit News when he was just 11, There, he even became a station captain. Walter worked tireless hours throughout his school years, and he loved working at The Detroit News so much that he ultimately spent his entire career in the newspaper business. As a teenager, Walter also worked part-time as a soda jerk at a candy store that was owned and operated by his great friend and mentor, Peter Lekas. As a student, he attended local schools. After graduating from St. Casimer High School in 1956, Walter bought a brand new Dodge with big fins. He always loved his cars as well. Walter spent six years serving in the Army National Guard where he was trained as a medic. While at the paper, he won numerous circulation awards and trips as a result of his dedicated service and success.
Not to be forgotten during his years in high school was Walter’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Loretta Valla, and she couldn’t help but notice that he was very mature for his age as he was very serious for someone who was only in high school. As he got older, Walter did loosen up quite a bit. He met his sweetheart when a nun who taught at the high school asked Walter to give Loretta a ride home since it was raining outside. He said he would, but only if she would take him to the dance next week. They had known of one another since Loretta was 14, but this was the true beginning of a love story that would span many years. Deeply in love, Walter and Loretta were married. Together they welcomed three children including Wally, Vikki, and Laura into their hearts and home. As someone who loved to camp and canoe, Walter took his family on several canoe and camping trips. As a huge fan of traveling, Walter went all over including to Germany, Tahiti, Japan, Venezuela, Spain, Italy, London, England, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii, and many other points within the United States.
Within his community, Walter was one to keep busy. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and Knight of the Month, Msgr. Vismara Council, at the age of 21. Walter was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, served as assistant scoutmaster, and then became scoutmaster of Troop 900 in Livonia, Michigan, holding that position for more than five years. Walter served as a national jamboree scoutmaster (Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania), and he was so proud to be a father to an Eagle Scout. Walter earned the Gemini District Award of Merit in 1979, earned the Wood Badge, an advanced National Leadership award.
It was easy to see that Walter was a man of faith. He was a member of St. Genevieve parish for 54 years where he served as an usher. Walter was a member of the International Order of the Alhambra, Manresa Caravan, serving as the Grand Commander of the Caravan in 1990. The International Order of the Alhambra is a Catholic men's organization dedicated to serving the mentally challenged, or, God's special children. Walter also held the post of Historian in the Caravan, as he loved taking photographs. He was very actively involved in various fundraising events such as the canister drives as well as other functions. Walter was particularly devoted to St. Francis of Assisi.
After retiring from The Detroit News, Walter continued to enjoy working. He started off volunteering and then was ultimately employed by St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, as a patient transporter. Walter loved this job but ultimately had to quit due to his progressing Parkinson’s disease. When Walter was in the hospital during his later years, it was always so special to see how many of the nursing staff and doctors remembered him from his time spent working there. It could also be because of all the baked goods that his wife sent in with him from time to time! Walter suffered with Parkinson’s disease, which eventually brought him to Marywood Nursing Center. While there he actually spent time recruiting seminarians to join the International Order of the Alhambra. One actually ended up joining, too. This brought Walter great joy since the disease altered his life in so many ways as it progressed.
With unending love for those around him, Walter Humann made a significant impact in the lives of those too numerous to count. He was content to remain in the background, making sure that others received recognition for their hard work. Walter took his roles as a husband and father to heart, but he just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a father and grandfather later in life. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
Walter B. Humann, of Livonia, passed away on May 14. Loving husband of Loretta. Beloved father of Wally (Kathy), Vikki (Steve) Parman and Laura (Tom) Gallagher. Cherished grandfather of Nicholas, Joseph, Bryan Parman, Tyler Parman, Alexander Parman, Cailin Gallagher and Emma Gallagher. Family will receive friends Wednesday, 2-8 p.m. at Neely Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd, Livonia (btwn Middlebelt & Merriman Rds). A funeral Mass will be held 11:00 a.m.-In state 10:15 am until Mass begins Thursday at St. Genevieve-St. Maurice Parish, 29015 Jamison, Livonia. Donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation.