Range Funeral Homes


Walter Gary Packala

07/20/1948 - 05/25/2020

Walter G. Packala, 71, of Virginia, passed away at home, Monday, May 25, 2020, with grace and dignity after a courageous battle with cancer. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at Range Funeral Home at 1:00 pm with visitation one-hour prior. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.rangefuneralhomes.com.

Walter Gary Packala was born July 20, 1948 to Wesley and Viola Packala. Walter enlisted in the Army in 1967 and proudly served on the front lines in Vietnam for two tours. He retired from LTV Steel in 2001. He was married to Cassie Peterson, who brought him true serenity in his life, on July 10, 2010.

Walter loved riding his motorcycle and one of his hardest days was when he had to quit riding. He truly enjoyed a good meal with family and friends. He was known for his generosity, wisdom, and gentle honesty.

He will be remembered for his fight to live and his desire to help others in recovery. Walt was going to donate his body to research at the Mayo Clinic so more can be learned about the effect of Agent Orange on those that served our country. Due to COVID-19, this is no longer possible.

Walter is survived by his wife, Cassie; step children, Zandra Gaddis, Kayla McFarland, Mellissa Fuller and Justin Gaddis; sister, Kim (Greg) Hustad; special nephew, Adam Packala; and numerous other step family members. He also leaves a huge recovery family in Virginia and St. Petersburg, FL that was very important to him during his 25 years of sobriety.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wesley Packala and Viola Flom; step father, Waino Takanen; brother, Wesley; sister, Elvira; and other step family members. He recently lost his little fur buddy, Gizmo, who provided him with comfort for many years.

8 thoughts on “Walter Gary Packala”

  1. Tom and Sherri Mausolf says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Walt’s family. He was a neighbor to us for many years. Loved riding his bike and always had a smile on his face. Our sympathy to you Cassie. The Mausolf family

  2. Linda Nelson says:

    Cassie, I am sure that you don’t remember me, but I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am about Walt. He was a wonderful man.

  3. Melissa Chadwick says:

    All my love and prayers to your family! I didn’t know Walt for very long but I adored him and was able to gain hope and wisdom from his words at our meetings. We can always do it together! Love you Walt and Cassie!!!

  4. Susan Hannuksela says:

    Although we have not been in touch for too many years I have memories of family gatherings in Minnesota.. Love to cousin Walters family. Condolenced from Sue and Larry Hannuksela.

  5. Andrene Flom Rudman says:

    Heartfelt condolences to the families and friends. Cousin’s from Lorida, Florida. Andrene Flom Rudman and her daughter Debbie Myers….

  6. Harold and Carol Ebnet says:

    Dear Cassie,
    So very sorry to hear of loved one passing on.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Harold & Carol Ebnet

  7. Cindy Macaulay says:

    Dear Cassie ~ I knew Walt from the Vet Center in Duluth, and I can’t tell you how beloved he was to his fellow veterans. His slogan ‘do the do stuff’ was used over and over whether he was there or not. His smile, his positive attitude, his openness and honesty and his genuine caring for those he was in the ‘soup’ with will live on in my heart and, I am sure, the hearts of the veterans he knew. My condolences ~ sending a hug.

  8. Robert McAllister says:

    Walt was one of the first people I met in recovery. He was one of those truly unique individuals you never forgot. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

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08/08/2020 at 1:00 pm
Range Funeral Homes, 16th Street North, Virginia, MN, USA

Visitation begins at 12:00 pm