Walker Yahnke, age 18 of Belle Plaine, died unexpectedly on September 15, 2022. A visitation will be held from 2-4PM with a Celebration of Life Service at 4PM on Friday, September 23, 2022 at Ferguson’s Minnesota Harvest at the Red Barn, 8251 Old Highway 169, Jordan (formerly known as MN Harvest).
Friends are encouraged to wear casual attire! Please park in the lot labeled “private event” as you enter.
On November 1, 2003 at St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee, MN, parents Kristen and Tracey celebrated the birth of their middle child, Walker. From the very start, Walker had a calm and easy-going demeanor. He wasn’t a fussy baby, a trouble-making toddler, or a rambunctious teen. Rather, Walker was the positive peacekeeper of his big, blended family—the constant calm in the midst of chaotic adventures and occasional mishaps.
Beginning his junior year, Walker transferred schools from Jordan to Belle Plaine. What could easily be a difficult transition wasn’t…not with Walker’s ability to make friends wherever he went! Flashing his charming smile, spouting sassy one-liners, and showing genuine interest in others helped Walker cultivate new and lasting friendships quickly.
Walker found the perfect balance of working hard and enjoying life. After graduating from Belle Plaine High School in 2022, he took every opportunity to attend concerts, car shows, and cruise around in his 2008 Volkswagen GTI while listening to his favorite music with his friends. Walker enjoyed going to the lake, fishing, going on adventures, playing Xbox, working out, and fixing up cars.
Even at work, Walker was having fun. He was always chatting it up at his job at the Belle Plaine Kwik Trip and welcoming customers into the store with his warm and friendly smile. Walker also loved working alongside his brother, Taylor, and dad at Yahnke Tree Service. While he was occasionally found napping on the job and was often caught checking his hair in the window’s reflection, Walker made up for it with hard work and his willingness to always lend a helping hand.
Walker was genuine, thoughtful, attentive, and cared deeply for those he loved. He supported others with encouraging words, kind actions and ended every phone call with “I love you.” Walker cherished every relationship, making it something special and unique. You always knew where you stood with Walker. If you were being a “little rat” or “a bum,” he would let you know.
Walker embodied kindness and leaves a legacy that sometimes we need to slow down, take a deep breath, laugh it off, take it easy, and to stay in the car to listen to the music just a little bit longer. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to do something good for the environment in memory of Walker—plant a tree, pick up trash, or recycle.
Deeply loved and missed, Walker is survived by his mother, Kristen (Michael) Smeraldo; father, Tracey (Rita) Yahnke; siblings, Taylor, Jake, Blake, Isaiah, Laila, Ruby, Nick, Selena, Chris, and Mike; grandparents, Deb and Terry Kaburd, Lane and Donna Townsend, Rose Smeraldo; his closest aunts and uncles, Mark and (Teri) Yahnke, Donnie (JoAnn) Yahnke, Shaun (Holly) Yahnke; special cousins, Alyssa, Tylor, and Carter; and the best of friends that turned into brothers along the way, Devin, Derek, Mikey, Bryce; and many other loving relatives and friends.
Walker is preceded in death by his grandparents, Donald and Nancy Yahnke.Print Obituary & Condolences