Wayne Tepfer

Wayne Tepfer, age 90, of Danube, MN passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at the Olivia Hospital. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 10 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Danube with Pastor Keith Petersen officiating. Visitation will be on Friday, February 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will continue one hour prior to the service all at the church. Burial will be in the St. Matthew’s South Cemetery. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.

Wayne Herbert Tepfer was born on July 7, 1933 to Herbert and Cora (Gens) Tepfer on the family farm in Crooks Township in Renville County.  This is where his love for farming truly began. Being the second eldest son, he had the responsibility from a young age to help with all the farm chores.  He graduated Danube High School in 1951. He met the love of his life Gloria Miller in 1954 when they both happened to be rollerskating at the Palms Ballroom in Renville. You could say it was love at first skate. Wayne was united in marriage to Gloria on January 9, 1955 at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Danube. He was drafted into the United States Army in the fall of 1955 and was stationed in Colorado, Arkansas, and North Carolina. He served in the Army for two years and then served in the National Guard when he came back home.  Wayne and Gloria made their home on a farm north of Danube where they raised their five children; Steve, Corey, Dan, Wendy and Jim. He took pride in taking care of his family, his farm and that every tractor or vehicle had the proper tire it needed and a spare.  He would always make sure the cattle were fed and the crop tended to.  He worked at Southern MN Beet Sugar Coop from 1981 to 1995. Wayne and Gloria moved off the farm to Renville in 1989 but he was still there most days to help Wendy and Ron as they started their new family at the same farm that he built his.  He made family memories of what most people would call hard work, whether it was baling hay or threshing; those are treasured memories to his family.   He and Gloria moved to the trailer house on Sunny Side Farms by Willmar in 1999 when he “retired.” But you know how the saying goes, “once a farmer, always a farmer.” He continued his passion alongside his son Dan and later passed on the farming tradition to grandson Ben.  His strong faith in God kept him going through the loss of two of his sons; Steve and Jim and his wife; Gloria. The tragedies were hard but his love for God was stronger. Wayne’s final home was in Danube.  Even though his body was starting to show its age, if he had the chance to drive a tractor or even supervise in the field he would take it. He enjoyed long visits at Corey’s house and always had time to talk on the phone. Wayne had many roles in his lifetime, but “Papa Wayne” was one of his favorites. He loved watching his grandchildren grow and would instill in them patience, honesty, and that green and yellow were the only colors a tractor should be. He loved a good toy show and had a fulfilling hobby of fixing old farm toys.  He loved gifting his great-grandchildren and great-great grandchild toy tractors that he had repaired with his own hands.  Wayne would light up every time he got the opportunity to watch them play and would always laugh at the silly things they said.  He shared his love of Calvin and Hobbes comics with his family; he never could pass up a good Calvin joke.  His love for sweets had named him the honorary cookie tester.  There was always room for dessert, especially if you had a hot cup of coffee to accompany it.  If you ever had a question of family history or how this relative was related to that relative, he was your go to guy.  His memory of history was astounding and will be greatly missed.  You could definitely say he had a young soul, even up to his last days.  His legacy will be remembered for his love of Faith, Family, and Farming.

Wayne is survived by his children: Corey Kuiken of Elko, Dan Tepfer (Karen) of Willmar, and Wendy (Ron) Kluver of Danube; his grandchildren: Heather (Travis) Fischer, Cole (Bea) DeBlieck, Shauna Rayl (Paul), Bob Tepfer, Shawna (Andy) Devine, Brandon (Rachael) Kuiken, Rachel (Peter) Tepfer-Ruckle, April Tepfer, Ben (Katie) Tepfer, Emily (Matt) Sindelir, Kim (Brad) Lanning, and Liesl (Ben) Dols; his great-grandchildren: Adyson, Callen, Sean, Preston, Danica, Wyatt, Colton (Lydia), Caden, Chessa (Thomas), Keira, Declan, Liv, Elin, Lane, Oliver, Cora, Liam, Logan, Conrad, Roman, Titus, Indira, and Eloise; his great-great-grandchild, Beckett; his sister, Ardus (John) Cleveland; his sister-in-law, Kathy Tepfer; and many nieces and nephews. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Cora; wife, Gloria; sons, Steve and Jim; grandson, Darrin Kuiken; son-in-law, Randy Kuiken; daughter-in-law, Pam; brothers, Ardell and Stanley Tepfer; and sister, Marian Ludford.

Blessed Be His Memory

Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN