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Langeland Family Funeral Home is pleased to have a program where every month we pay tribute to the memory of a veteran by raising the flags at our chapels in their honor. Each chapel prominently displays a framed biography with a photograph of the veteran for the entire month, remembering and honoring the veteran and their family for service to our country. 

We at Langelands are grateful to these men and women for their sacrifice and courage and we consider it our honor to pay tribute in this way. If you or a family member would like to have a fallen veteran remembered, please contact K. Lynn McFarlen, Community Outreach Director, 269-343-1508. There is no cost or obligation. Families choosing to participate will receive a certificate and the displayed biographies of their family member to keep or share.

(Please note three of our chapels have flag poles and three do not, although the flags we raise represent all our locations.)

For past recipients see: /lgq/archived-flag-flying-tributes


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Walter E. Rist

Mr. Rist was born May 24, 1930 in Lodz, Poland to his German parents Adolph and Else (Behnke) Rist of Lodz, Poland. Walter emigrated from war torn Germany at the tender age of 21 with just a suitcase and a dream of becoming an American and settled in the metro Detroit area. Upon applying for citizenship, he was invited to join the U.S. Army and served for 16 months in the Korean War. He distinguished himself with several decorations and medals, among which are the Korean Service Ribbon with 2 Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Mr. Rist was married to Sighild Hoch (immigrant from Berlin, Germany) where they had Andrew Rist (Holly) of Kiev, Ukraine, and Audrey Curry (Edwin) of Portage, MI. Walter married Aileen Cote York (children Daniel York (Debbie) of Pottstown, PA and Carol (Lew) Evans of Racine, WI) on May 5, 1966 and combined their families and enjoyed 48 years of marriage.

Walter worked as a toolmaker for Schiller Corporation, Golnick, then partnering with Leslie Fordham, started his own company, Radian Tool & Engineering now located in Troy, Michigan retiring in 1995. Walter stayed connected to his German heritage and was a long-time member and treasurer of the Detroit Schwaben Unterstuezungs Verein, an affiliate of the German-American Cultural Center. He and Aileen were members of First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Clemens where Walter served as an elder, was in the chancel choir and the handbell choir. Walter had a zest for music, boating, biking, camping, and traveling the world. He attended many music concerts of his children and grandchildren. When Walter and Aileen settled in the Kalamazoo area in 2003, they became members of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Portage.

Walter is preceded in death by his wife, parents, and siblings, Theodore (Gertrude) Rist, Elisabeth Rist, Harry (Lily) Rist, and George (Vera) Rist. He is survived by his sister Magdalene (Gerhard) Schiemann along with his children, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Walter’s family would like to thank his caregivers at Alamo Nursing Home where he was considered family and delighted the residents and staff with his singing and sense of humor.

                           Mr. Rist was lain to rest with full military honors in                              Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.

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Contact Us

Memorial Chapel
622 South Burdick St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
Portage Chapel
411 East Centre Ave
| Portage, MI 49002
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
Westside Chapel
3926 S. 9th St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
Climax Chapel
205 East Maple St.
| Climax, MI 49034
Tel: 1-269-746-4206

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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