Michael A. Waechter, age 66 of Park River, ND passed away on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at the University of Minnesota-Fairview Hospital.
Michael Waechter was born September 28, 1954 in Sioux Falls, SD, the son of the late Anthony and Geraldine (Cox) Waechter. He attended country school and graduated from Canistota High School. While in school he participated in many wrestling and track meets. During his teen years, he spent many hours in the family business working in the bait shop and campground along Lake Vermillion. He attended Dakota State University in Madison, SD. While obtaining his degree, he worked nights and summers as a state park ranger at Lake Madison. He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart Gloria Buehner on August 17, 1974 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Canistota, SD. Following his graduation, the couple moved to Ada, MN where he worked at the Ada Co-op for short time before moving to Park River, ND. He was manager of the hardware store at Cenex in Park River for 25 years before returning to school at age 50 where he earned his telecommunications degree from Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, MN. He began working for Polar Communications in Park River where he stayed until his health forced him to retire. He thoroughly enjoyed finding this career later in life and talked fondly of his co-workers.
He was a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Park River where he served on several church councils, a former member of the Park River Fire Department and City Council, as well as the Sons of the American Legion. He collected guns and enjoyed trap shooting at the Walsh County Gun Club. He enjoyed deer hunting and sausage making with friends and collecting memorabilia, but more importantly the stories that went with his “finds”. He was an excellent woodworker and refinished furniture. One of the special times of his life was restoring an old Dodge coupe with his Uncle Jim in his teen years. He loved drinking root beer and making homemade ice cream to share with his grandchildren. He enjoyed watching Notre Dame Football and Yankees baseball. During his later years, he took pride in feeding and watching his backyard birds.
Mike is survived by his wife of 46 years, Gloria, Park River, ND, children: Matt Waechter, Golden Valley, MN, Angie (Ryan) Solseng, Park River, ND and Ryan (Kate) Waechter, Mandan, ND; 6 grandchildren; siblings: Julie Delich, Fairview, NC, Patricia (John) Harris, Long Lake, MN and Chris (Kristi) Waechter, Grand Forks, ND; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law John Delich.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, June 4, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Park River, ND. Visitation will be Thursday, from 5-7 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 PM at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Park River. Friends may also call at the church for one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be at the Calvary Cemetery of Park River. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the First Care Health Center of Park River or the Lyric Theater of Park River.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Joel Johnson and the staff at the First Care Health Center of Park River and Mike’s care team from University of Minnesota for all of the care Mike received. One of his greatest hopes and blessings was the opportunity for the gift of a heart transplant. His last message he wrote on his hospital bulletin board prior to surgery stated, “The future came today!”