Norma Jean "Tootie" Walquist, age 67, of Willmar, MN, died Tuesday, January 14, at her home in Willmar.
A gathering of friends and family will be from 1-4 P.M. Saturday, January 18, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. A private interment will be held at a later date at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, MN.
Norma Jean (Hennessy) Walquist was born on May 25, 1946 in Benson, Minnesota, the daughter of Leo Francis and Bernice Isabelle (Mitchell) Hennessy. She grew up in Danvers and Benson, and graduated from Benson High School in 1964. On August 5, 1966, she was united in marriage to Robert Leroy Walquist at the Long Beach Navel Chapel in Long Beach, California. After Bob's naval service, they made their home in Willmar where Norma worked for 37 years for the State of Minnesota, retiring in 2009. Norma was passionate about veteran's issues and was an active member of the Willmar American Legion Auxiliary, where she served as the Willmar Unit President as well as President of the 7th District Auxiliary. As a highlight to her long list of accomplishments, Norma served for 35 years as the radio chairman for the annual American Legion Auxiliary Veterans Day radio broadcast. She also enjoyed doing crafts, spending time with her dogs, and especially loved to attend her grandchildren's events. Those who knew her best would agree: Norma was "a force to be reckoned with".
She is survived by her husband, Bob of Willmar and two sons, Robert Jr. (and Colleen) of Little Falls, and Cory (and Erin) of Plymouth; five granddaughters; Casey, Janey, Carla, Julia, Sydney and one grandson, Sam, 1 brother, George Hennessy of Indian Harbor Beach, Florida and 5 sisters; Lenore Nissen of Benson, Beatrice Pearson of Hancock, Beverly Pearson of Glenwood, Marian (and Jerome) Johnson of Watertown, MN and Susan (and Dennis) Jordahl of Willmar. Also surviving is 1 brother-in-law, Leonard (and Gwen) Walquist of Hutchinson and 4 sisters-in-law; Alice (and Bob) DeGrote of Clara City, Dorothy (and Byron) Klemmetson of Willmar, Helen Peterson of New London and Judy (and James) Braeger of Leonard, ND, besides other relatives and friends.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents and one sister in infancy.
Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery
15550 Highway 115
Little Falls, MN, 56345