“God’s Angel on Earth Taking Care of Our Children”

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Serving others is a ministry, it is the backbone of service to our Lord and His people. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 Pictured above is Mom and Dad.
I cried like a baby when I called Windom, Minnesota Elementary Principle Dane Nielson to thank him and the Windom Schools for this marker at the tree that was planted at Highland Elementary in 1993 when daddy suddenly passed away. I cried like a baby. People like Dane touch my heart so very much because they are proud of their community and highlight the good works of people in Windom, current and past. Dane reminds me of my Dad, a true servant of God, My Dad spent his entire adult life in serving others, Our Country in WW II as a SGT. in the U.S. Marines, he left school at age 17 to enlist and then back home to become a Firefighter, rising to Assistant Chief, (Grandpa Chris Moede was a Windom Fireman up until his death in 1938) Custodian the the High School and then promoted to Transportation Director. For many years Dad was head usher at the American Lutheran Church. Dad took such care of all the children to make sure they were always safe, always smiling , the children’s safety was his number one priority. Daddy had a very special love for those children with special needs, sometimes carrying them to the bus. This was a day when Windom has 25 buses. The days before cell phones. Dad would have no contact with his drivers during bad weather except to go look for them or call farmhouse to farm house. He got with Bud Gove and got CB’s in most buses. I will never forget the day Dad, me and Jack Kelly went looking for a bus, we found it in the ditch during a fast moving snow storm. All children and driver where safe. I was telling Sharon I beleive God has moved me full circle in my life to have the love and care for children that I have as a Father grandpa and Pastor. I thank Windom for showing the Moede family such love for our family. Windom is such a important part of my life, I love it so much! I am so very grateful I grew up in such a tremendous community that cares about its present day and its history. I always carry Windom in my heart. PS: It is extra special for me that the tree was planted at Highland because I worked as a custodian there for 6 years before going to TV and Radio school. That quote on the marker about Dad is from the Pastor of the Methodist Church in Windom back in the early 60’s on his radio ministry program on KDOM Radio.
It is good that we affirm each other and serve each other. Ministry is serving others before yourself.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
PS: My Mom, Ruth, was Dad’s right arm. The days before cell phones she was the headquarters for the buses in many ways, she took a lot of calls, many would call our home first before the school! Mom was also a true servant of the people. Served a head cook at Winfair for years. The awesome thing about America is we have so many unsung heroes serving us all everyday. Let us give thanks to the Lord for all! Let us serve each other, let us love each other more than ever.
After I wrote this a Doris Bacon from Windom asked me about when did Dad become Transportation Director. When the Windom Schools bought the bus fleet from Joe Elsing back in the early 60’s, sorry I cannot remember the exact year, Dad was working as a high school custodian. Dad was then encouraged by Superintendent Jerome Webster, Board member Dr. Harold Basinger and teacher John Bell to apply for the the position as the Districts first Transpiration Director. The School Board selected Dad! The rest is history! I told Doris that one of the buses we got in the sale still had Bingham lake School painted on it.
By the way when the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers played in the 1965 World Series, Superintendent Jerome Webster awarded Dad a trip to one of ther games!!!!That was a huge deal!!!!!!! Such great memories of Windom Schools and the entire community!
I am getting some messages that people love this history of Windom, so let me add this……. Back in the late 60’s a little boy was reported missing out the Storden way on a farm…The Fire Department was called to help find the little boy. I wish I could find the picture of my daddy coming out of the corn field with the little boy is his arms!!! Daddy found him!!! Both the little boy and daddy had the biggest smiles!!! That was my daddy in a nut shell, always serving.
I first posed this on Facebook on Saturday after I got the call from Dane Nielsen that the marker was in place. Here are a few responses that give me fuel to serve God’s children even more, and all people!

Faye Knauss

This is so sweet! Your dad is one of the adults that stick out in my childhood memories. He had a gentleness about him – kind eyes and sweet smile. He ALWAYS made me feel like he was genuinely excited to see me. He was present and tuned in. The kind of adult that reflects to a child that they are OKAY just the way they are – a blessing that all kids need to receive and internalize. It is now that I am an adult and raising my own children that I truly understand the value of these good humans! I still break into a smile when I think of him❤️

Cindy Oakley

That’s just fabulous!! Great tribute to both your parents. Windom is a fabulous town and we’re all lucky to call it home. Windom was lucky to have the Moede family as well. ❤

Robert Nielsen

There were several memorable people who influenced my life in Windom while growing up, Dewey, and I hold many of them in my heart to this day though I haven’t seen many of them much or at all in 50+ years since graduating from HS and having my family move to St. Peter in 1967 and I spending most of my life in Mpls and then St. Peter raising my family and working in our family business. When I came to Windom occasionally for reunions or family gatherings, I sometimes ran into Wally downtown or in a store or someplace and he ALWAYS greeted me and treated me like a returning hero and he let me know that he had never forgotten me and always hoped the best for me and pulled for me in whatever I was doing at the time. Do you know how much I appreciated him and how much I loved knowing that he was part of my support system ever though he seldom saw me in later years??? I will always remember Wally very, very well and you and his family have my respect and admiration as long as I live and can remember Wally and the Windom people that were so instrumental in my life. Bob Nielsen

Cindy Erne Tucker

What an amazing tribute to your parents. I remember the days so fondly at Radio Station WLOI/ WCOE. You were an amazing man , friend and co worker. I love that you are still doing Gods work. Any one that has the please to meet you, are truly blessed. To Sharon, God blessed you to bring together from the start. Hope to meet you some day. Love to you both, Tuck

Kathleen Fontello

Awesome Legacy..We all need to think of how will we be remembered? Let’s put our eyes on Jesus, then be like Him…🙏☝️😇

Tami Gahler McMenimen

As the saying goes, “People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” Your dad always made everyone feel safe and loved. He was a gentle, but strong leader. We were blessed to know him.

Jan Duscher

I remember your Dad treating each child that rode the bus like they were his child. He was so kind and caring. To know him was a wonderful privilege. You seem to be the same type of man!

Linda Dawson

Loved reading this bit of Windom’s history!

Debra Eidsmoe

I agree. Everyone knew Wally. I can even picture his face looking up in the rear view mirror as he drove bus, double checking on the kids in the seats. He was kind, yet drew boundaries. Great memories! ❤️🚌

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