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Walker Yahnke

Posted By Ballard Sunder Funeral Home On September 19, 2022 @ 4:42 pm In 2022,Obituaries | 14 Comments

Walker Yahnke

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.

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Condolence from Courtney Dukek on September 19th, 2022 5:44 pm

Walker was Always nice to my son when I came into Kwik Trip. He have him a fist bump Hw was also, a Great Co-Worker. He was willing to do anything to help out. He did it with a Smile on his face. You will be greatly missed.

Condolence from Sami Schmidt on September 19th, 2022 7:30 pm

Walker was such an amazing person. I miss seeing him at Praise the Children. He was always so loving and thoughtful. I am so sorry for your loss. He will be so missed. He was so loved. <3

Condolence from Peter Paul and Mary Deutsch family on September 23rd, 2022 2:32 pm

So very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers to your family.

Condolence from Cheyane Westin on September 19th, 2022 7:40 pm

So very sorry to hear this!! I’ve never met walker but I did go to school and grew up with his cousins! Also went to school with Taylor and Jake! Very nice boys and I’m sure he was the sweetest young man!! So sorry for the entire family!

Condolence from Alyssa Bohlman and boys on September 19th, 2022 8:32 pm

Prayers and love to all of you. I can’t imagine the pain and darkness you are feeling. Hugs to each of you.

Condolence from Gene Marla Giordano on September 20th, 2022 11:49 am

Sounds like Walker added more to life and those around him in his short time here than many others have in a full lifetime. Thanks kid, you are an inspiration to us all. Love, strength and prayers to you all.

Condolence from Susan Suelter on September 20th, 2022 6:17 pm

My kids had the joy of playing with Jake when they went to his mother’s in home daycare. I even think there were a few times Walker would run up and give me a hug! He was a true example of love even when he was little. He will be missed by many but loved forever. Our condolences to his family and all that loved him.

Condolence from Susan Suelter on September 20th, 2022 6:19 pm

I meant Walker.

Condolence from Debra DeGree on September 21st, 2022 11:43 am

My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Condolence from Minddie Lloyd on September 22nd, 2022 12:15 am

My deepest condolences for your family.

Love the Lloyd family

Condolence from Greg Kendrick on September 22nd, 2022 8:02 am

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Yahnke family during this very difficult time. Walked sounded like a very special person and we are so sorry for your loss.

Condolence from Amanda Judd on September 22nd, 2022 11:54 am

I worked with Walker at Radermachers. He was a bright, funny, friendly, helpful young man. And that smile of his was something to behold!

Condolence from Jacob Breeggemann on September 22nd, 2022 8:48 pm

My condolences to his friends and family. I instantly recognized his face. I am very sorry for your loss and can’t imagine what you are going through. I wish you strength and healing.

Condolence from Lynn Schumann-Carr on September 25th, 2022 3:46 am

Tracey, We Are So Very, Very Sorry!! Huggin you big time Cousin. Hugs, thoughts and prayers all around. We Love You!!! Rest Easy Walker!!❤

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