Walter "Wally" Kuriata

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Memories & Candles

“I was so sorry to hear that Uncle Wally passed away. I have so many great memories of him as I was growing up and his laugh was infectious. This...Read More »
1 of 21 | Posted by: Melissa Hayes Zhiss - Charlotte, NC

“I met Wally on a snowy evening when i was going to his house for dinner with my sister and family to visit.Wally had made a wonderful meal . As we...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: nancy howe - roswell, GA

“While at the visitation I heard over and over Walt was a friend to all. Wally touched my life many years ago. He is an example for what we all should...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Tim Stoops - Niles, MI - Friend

“Wally will be missed at Priest Lake. Wally always had something for the kids and all of the kids knew him as "Uncle Wally". I know dad will miss...Read More »
4 of 21 | Posted by: Denise McIntyre - Dowagiac, MI

“We have very fond memories of Wally: whistling at the office, supplying us all with fruit and veggies, a cheerful smile and greeting, and the...Read More »
5 of 21 | Posted by: Debbie and Johnny Groda - MI

“You will be missed ”
6 of 21 | Posted by: Norma Bakeman Goldner -- Class of 1958 - MI


“Wally, or Valter as we called him, will be missed by many. Having met him through Wayne Stovern, I have many fond memories of sharing great laughter...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Lynnel (Keresztesi) Kiely - MI

“Our thoughts go out to you all. Wally has been a great friend of our entire family for many many years. He was truly one of a kind and will be...Read More »
9 of 21 | Posted by: Craig Lyons - Dowagiac, MI

“A fine man that will be truly missed. (Sorry I couldn't make the Memorial Sheila,Mark and Dee) ”
10 of 21 | Posted by: Scott Jurgenson - Dowagiac, MI

“My thoughts are with the entire family. Wally will never be forgotten in our house. I remember when he was our family paperboy - always gave me a...Read More »
11 of 21 | Posted by: Thelma McElheny

“Papa Wally you were 1 of a Kind and You will be greatly missed. Mary Gerbas (Davin) ”
12 of 21 | Posted by: Mary Gerbas (Davin) - Chicago, IL

“Kuriata family, Wally was always willing to help everyone and he will be surely missed. My greatest memories were at the Elks wild game dinners you...Read More »
13 of 21 | Posted by: mike behnke - dowagiac, MI

“Dear Markie Mark (Dr. K.), Shelley and children, Shiela and spouse and children, Grandchildren, Sharon and Dolores, John and Mo. Nephews and Nieces...Read More »
14 of 21 | Posted by: Tammy and Toby Brooks - Dowagiac, MI

“Dear Markie Mark (Dr. K.), Shelley and Children, Sheila and spouse and children, grandchildren, Brother John and Mo, Sharon and Dolores, Our...Read More »
15 of 21 | Posted by: Tammy and Toby Brooks - Dowagiac, MI

“Please accept my dearest sympathy on the loss of your companion, father, grandfather and uncle Wally. May you be comforted by the Peace of Our Lord...Read More »
16 of 21 | Posted by: Sue Ann Stewart - Dowagiac, MI

“I remember when Wally and others (Stan Klimczak and more) joined us at Oak StreetSchool (now Justus Gage). We graduated together in 1958. Wally...Read More »
17 of 21 | Posted by: barbara wegner - dowagiac, MI

“When remembering Wally, it will always be with a warm smile. God bless him.Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
18 of 21 | Posted by: Pattie Behnke - Dowagiac, MI

“Wally and I were the class of 1949, immigrating to America, the land of freedom and opportunity. We shared that common bond. May you rest in peace...Read More »
19 of 21 | Posted by: John Hrycko - Eau Claire, MI

“My heartfelt sympathy to Wally's family and Sharon. When Wally joined us for holiday dinners he always said a Polish prayer and then repeated the...Read More »
20 of 21 | Posted by: Cheryl Bugy - Dowagiac, MI

“I will always remember the spring in your step, your cheerful whistling, and the kindness you showed along with the many people you helped. There...Read More »
21 of 21 | Posted by: Mary Neumann - St. Joseph, MI

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Wally's life began on February 2, 1939 in Rudnia, Poland; the son of Hipolit and Lydia (Sockwell) Kuriata. The family immigrated to the United States in 1949 after living in a displaced persons camp after World War 2. The family later moved to Dowagiac where Wally attended Dowagiac Union High School, graduating in the class of 1958. After high school, he proudly served his country as a medic in the United States Army, from 1962 to 1964. Wally was a true entrepreneur. He ran several businesses including Kuriata's Antenna Service. Wally was an avid fisherman, and even created his own fishing board game called "Fish On," that sold across the region. He always had a positive spirit, often whistling or smiling wherever he went. Wally never met a stranger as he was a friend to everybody. He is best described as a happy go-lucky and a selfless giver, and was a caretaker to many. He was also known for raising funds and supporting local organizations, such as the Elks and Lions Clubs. He often gave away more local fruit and vegetables than imaginable, and did not take no for an answer if you refused. Wally was an excellent cook and learned many of his Polish delicacies from his mother and carried on the traditions of his motherland. Walter was a parishioner at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church. His loving family includes his children Dr. Mark (Shelley) Kuriata of St. Joseph, and Sheila (Daniel) Davin of Chicago; grandchildren Elyse (David) Putnam, Christopher Kuriata, Alexander Kuriata, Zachary Kuriata, Ryan Hogan and Joshua Davin, a brother John (Maureen) Kuriata of Dowagiac, several nieces and nephews, his longtime companion Sharon Nelson of Dowagiac and the mother of his children Dolores Kuriata. Wally passed away peacefully on Sunday November 18, 2012 at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph surrounded by friends and family. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Marie Mennite, and brothers Daniel, Edward and Ted Kuriata. His family will gather with friends on Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at Yazel & Clark Chapel where a rosary service will be held at 7 p.m. led by Deacon Frank Wesolowski. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church led by Father Kevin Covert. Wally will be laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery with military honors following the service. A traditional Polish meal will also be held afterwards to celebrate the life of this cheerful, giving and loving family man. Memorial contributions in his name may be directed to the Kuriata family for which a trust will be made. Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Wally at

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