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Died: Dec. 2
Walt “Junior” Neuenschwander had been healthy, active and full of life, his daughter Kathy Steffen said.
That is, until COVID-19 took him within a month of his diagnosis.
It happened quickly, and it’s still hard for her to believe her father is gone.
Walt tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 7 and was admitted to Bluffton Regional Medical Center eight days later. Four days after that, he was put on a ventilator at Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne. He died Dec. 2 at the age of 76.
He was a dairy farmer for 22 years, receiving the “Outstanding Young Farmer” award twice. He retired from Edy’s Grand Ice Cream after 21 years, and was listed on the company’s “I Made a Difference” Hall of Fame.
His hobbies included wintering in Florida, golfing, traveling and attending his grandchildren’s sporting and musical events.
Walt had a joke for any situation and was the life of the party, his daughter remembers. His joyful spirit attracted people to him.
His family joked about how easily Walt could cry, but they say it’s because he was the most loving and tender man who showed love and compassion to everyone he met.
He was his daughter’s hero. He was generous and Godly.
“Dad was becoming frustrated with this world; but only because he cared so much about it,” Kathy wrote for her father’s funeral. “He made a difference, and I guess that’s why it is so very, very painful to let him go. Dad wasn’t perfect — but he is now.”
Contributed by the Bluffton News-Banner