Walter J. Leary

Walter James Leary, age 94 of Chilton, passed away Thursday, October 11, 2018 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, WI.  He was born December 19, 1923 in Merrill, Wisconsin, son of the late Earl and Clara (Eiden) Leary.

Following an 8th grade education, Walter worked various job and farmed to help support his family.  In 1942 he joined the United State Navy and traveled the world delivering provisions and ammunition on several different Merchant ships.  He received an honorable discharge in 1946.

Walter married Patricia Strauss on October 15, 1958, and together raised 4 children.  Walter owned Megger’s Tavern which is where he met Pat. Walter worked other jobs too driving a beer delivery truck delivering beer all over Wisconsin and he bartended at several taverns in the area.  His tenure at the bar and through a lot of trial and error, became the best Manhattan Mixologist this side of the Mississippi River.

During most of his working years he was employed with Foley Company in Chilton as a Foreman.  He took his duties very seriously and was loved and respected by all.  He instilled that work ethic in his children and was an example to all to work hard and do your best.  Following retirement, Walter worked as caretaker at Calumet County Park and worked in Maintenance at the nursing home in Chilton until the age of 86.

Walter loved visiting with people and made friendships all over the world.  If he knew someone was traveling, he would prompt them to look people up for him to say “Hello” from Wally Leary.

Walter loved the outdoors and enjoyed Sunday’s on the farm, family time at Long Lake picnicking, water skiing, and swimming.  He enjoyed family vacations at the Wisconsin Dells and several lakes in northern Wisconsin. He loved fishing in the early years and loved walking in the woods in Michigan in his later years.


Wally and Pat enjoyed many trips together.  Because of his pride in his Irish heritage, traveled to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone and hopefully find a relative.  Some of their big travels were to Medjugorja in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Rome, Italy; Hawaii, and Branson, MO.  They loved stage shows and enjoyed various entertainers.

Walter was a kind and compassionate soul, always calling his kids just to make sure they were doing ok. He connected with distant relatives and friends in his later years to reminisce about the olden days. Walter was loved by everyone and he was a faithful Catholic with a special devotion to the rosary.

Survivors  include his children: Tim (Ilo) Leary of Daggett, MI, Laurie (RC) Ludke of New Holstein, Kathy (Tony) Manka of Murrysville, PA, and Peggy (Kevin) Hoerth of  Chilton. His grandchildren: Nick Leary, Tim Leary, Amanda Leary, Tony Giebel, Miranda Lorenz, Olivia Ludke, Christian Manka, Ivy Manka, Kate Hemauer, and Allison Hoerth; and 15 great grandchildren. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, and other relatives and many friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Patricia, his brothers Raymond and Myron and his nieces Debbie Zima and Therese Abbot.

The funeral service will be at 11:30 am on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church (54 E. Main St.) in Chilton with Rev. Ryan Krueger officiating.  Friends may call at the Wieting Family Funeral Home (411 W. Main St.) in Chilton from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Monday, October 15, 2018 and on Tuesday at the funeral home from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  A parish vigil service will be held Monday evening at the funeral home at the close of visitation.  

Walter’s family would like to extend a warm thank you to the staff of Century Ridge, Atrium Post Acute Care in Chilton, and all of the nurses and doctors at the Ascension Hospitals where Walter and his entire family was shown care and compassion and were tended to at every moment they needed it.  

A memorial fund has been established in the name of Walter James Leary for the Patriot Guard Riders of Wisconsin.

“Pass the Booze”