NONA GERMAINE WALTER was born on September 3, 1927 to Ole S. and Mary Olivia (Anderson) Hegstad in Slayton, Minnesota. When her mother died in 1929, she was raised by her father and several housekeepers. In 1933, her father married Leila Endersbe who then helped raise Nona and her siblings. She attended school in Slayton until the sixth grade when she moved with her family to Ellsworth, Minnesota and continued her education there. After Nona’s graduation from Ellsworth High School in 1945, she attended beauty school in Mankato, Minnesota. After completing her coursework there, she became employed by a beauty shop in Rochester, Minnesota. A year later, she moved to Worthington, Minnesota. While working there, she obtained her shop manager’s license and opened her own shop which she called “Nona’s Beauty Shop” in Ellsworth. On April 19, 1949, she was united in marriage to John H. Walter at the Congregational Church in Ellsworth. Following their marriage, they lived on the Walter family farm near Ellsworth. In 1949, Nona sold the beauty shop and they moved to a farm near Steen, Minnesota. Then, in 1963, they moved to a farm south of Jasper, Minnesota. Nona also worked in the bakery and cafeteria at Jasper Foodland for 12 years. John preceded her in death in 1975. After his death, Nona continued to live on the farm. On Monday, December 23, 2019, Nona passed away at the Bethany Home in Brandon, South Dakota at the age of 92 years, three months, 20 days.
Nona was a member of the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church where she was active in the Ladies and church circle. She enjoyed tatting, she loved to do crossword puzzles, and she was an avid reader. She loved to travel, and her favorite trip was to Maui. She especially loved to spend time outdoors working in her large garden and taking care of her flowers, mainly roses and gladiolas. She actively enjoyed and supported her granddaughter during her school athletic years. While growing up, she learned to ice skate and she wanted to be able to ice skate forever. She was named Queen of the Ice Follies in Ellsworth. She was also the drum majorette for the high school in Ellsworth.
She is lovingly remembered by her two children, Suzanne Walter Gleason and her husband Arnold of Harrisburg, South Dakota, and Scott Walter and his wife Marian of Baltic, South Dakota; one granddaughter, Allison of Baltic, South Dakota who is one of the highlights of Nona’s life; three step-granddaughters, Angie (Joe) Sieler, Jenny (Greg) Baker, and Ruthie (Bill) Roth; two step-grandsons, Robert (Vicky) and Craig (Holly) Gleason; five great-grandchildren; sister, Doris Essman of Luverne, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Laura Warner; and brother-in-law, Alfred Wagner. She was preceded in death by her husband, John; son, Douglas; parents; brother, Minver Hegstad; sister, Juanita Jones; several nieces and nephews; and her beloved long-time pet dog, Lord Benjamin “Benji.”