Walter Phillip Jann, age 78 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 1:50 p.m. on Sunday, September 2, 2018 while hearing the Lord’s Prayer with family and friends who were gathered around at Woodland Terrace of Longmeadow in Niles following an extended illness.
He was born on May 1, 1940 in Niles to Walter L. and Blanche (Montgomery) Jann. He graduated from Niles High School in 1958, and had attended Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He began a career as a clerk at the Niles Branch Office of the United States Postal Service; serving for a total of forty-four years prior to retirement. Walter also served in the United States Army Military Police, mostly in Puerto Rico, and was Honorably Discharged as a Veteran of the Viet Nam Era.
Walt was an active member of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Niles, being a devout Christian, he shared his faith with all who would listen. He had a great interest in history, traveling to historic sites – often battlefields, and collecting Native American artifacts. He was an avid philatelic collector and enjoyed HO scale model railroad cars. He was well known for telling jokes, and had a fresh joke every Sunday to share at church. His greatest joy was his family.
On August 18, 1962 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church he married the former Bette Jean Nimtz, with whom he celebrated the forty-first anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on February 4, 2004. He was also preceded in death by his parents.
Surviving family includes his daughters, Sherri Lynn (& David) Wuischpard of Osceola, Indiana and Christine Kay (& Michael) Hilfinger of Richmond, Texas; grandchildren Lauren Hilfinger, Alex Wuischpard, Peyton Hilfinger and Parker Hilfinger; Walt’s siblings, Eleanor (& William) Hassinger of Edwardsburg, Michigan and John (& Lucy) Jann of Niles; several nieces and nephews; and his companion, Lorelei Smith of Niles and her children, Cheri (& Don) Hughes, Lonnie Smith, Todd (& Mandy Smith) Smith, and Timothy (& Darlene) Smith.
The funeral service for Walter Jann will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 7, 2018 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore Street in Niles with the Rev. Joseph T. Liss of the church officiating. Committal Rites will follow at the Sumnerville (Michigan) Cemetery, and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the United States Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles; and on Friday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the church. Contributions in memory of Walt may be made to Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, http://stpaulslutheranniles.360unite.com/home; or to the Berrien County Cancer Service, http://www.bccancerservice.org Online condolences may be left at: www.halbritterwickens.com