338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Walter DeMong
The death of Br. Walter DeMong, OMI occurred peacefully on Friday, October 20, 2023 at the Hospice at Glengarda in Saskatoon. Br. Walter spent his last days surrounded by the love and support of his family and friends, and the Oblate community of his brothers and associates.
Br. Walter was born on May 19, 1932, to Anna Marie (Wedewer) and Henry DeMong, in Cudworth, SK, the eldest of nine children. He said he always thought he’d get married and be a farmer, but while listening to a radio program when he was in his early 20’s, he heard a priest talking about different vocations within religious orders, and felt God’s call for him to be a brother, knowing that he was cut out for practical work, with his hands.
Br. Walter entered the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1955, professing his First Vows in 1957, and his Perpetual Vows on March 19, 1963. He spent most of the next twenty-five years as a dairyman and farmer at St. Charles Scholasticate, in Battleford, SK. He was known for his hard work and skill in working with animals, especially the Holstein dairy herd which he was so proud of.
In 1979, Br. Walter moved to Saskatoon, where he began his ministry of hospitality and maintenance at Queen’s House of Retreats, a position he held for the next eleven years. From there he moved to Mazenod Residence, where he wore many hats: guest master, maintenance, handyman, chauffeur, to name a few. In 2014, Br. Walter moved to Trinity Manor, where he continued to provide support and friendship to many in both the Oblate and Trinity communities.
Br. Walter’s entire life was ministry. He was known and loved for many things, and there is no shortage of words to describe him. He made such an impact on many, not only in the Oblate community but in the wider church. Br. Walter was a progressive thinker and had a huge heart, finding it hard to say no to anything or anyone. He admitted that he struggled with the balance between his work/ministry, and his prayer life, all of which were so important to him. Br. Walter cared deeply for the environment and social justice, working many years with Development and Peace. So many years were spent in the ministry of hospitality, and even as an elder, when he was not assigned specifically to that ministry, he was so welcoming and friendly. It was part of who he was. He really was a happy man. All who knew him have stories of his frugality, but he never lost sight of his respect and love for people, which was stronger than his deeply held principles. He was truly pastoral. Br. Walter was aware of his shortcomings and was forgiving of others for theirs. His kindness, humility, and concern for all was always evident. Br. Walter always participated fully in the life of the Oblate community that he loved, right up until his hospitalization a month ago. Br. Walter loved his family and was grateful for the deep connection with all of them. In an interview which Br. Walter did in February with the Oblate elder history project, he left these last words: work hard, be honest, try to have a good prayer life, use your common sense, be generous with your time and energy, and say YES. He finished by saying that "I thought when you got older, you’d become a walking saint; but you always have to work at your Christian life.”
Br. Walter was predeceased by his parents, Anna Marie, and Henry DeMong; brother Roger DeMong and wife Marion; brother Raymond DeMong and wife Hattie; sister Shirley Altrogge. He is survived by his brother Oblates of OMI Lacombe Canada, and their associates; his brothers Leroy DeMong (Phil), Ken DeMong (Barbara) and Fr. Lawrence DeMong, OSB; his sisters Sr. Darlene DeMong, NDS, and Janice DeMong (Howard Cohen); brother-in-law Ervine Altrogge, and many nieces and nephews.
The family and Oblate community would like to express sincere appreciation to the Hospice at Glengarda for their gentle care of Br. Walter in his last days.
The Funeral Liturgy will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 10:00am, at St. Philip Neri Parish, 1902 Munroe Avenue, Saskatoon, SK. For those unable to attend, a livestream is available on the parish website, https://stphilipneriparish.ca/. Click on the livestream link. The interment will take place at the Oblate cemetery in Battleford, SK at 2:30pm that day.
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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