Father Kenneth Wald, 83, Minot, ND, formerly of Bismarck and Douglas, completed his journey to meet his Lord on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at Trinity Hospital in Minot.
Kenneth J. Wald was born January 31, 1932, in Strasburg, ND, to Ignatius “Scotty” and Lillian (Uhrich) Wald. He was the oldest of six children. He attended St. Benedictís Catholic Grade School in Strasburg where in the second grade he fell in love with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and received his calling to the Catholic priesthood. He furthered his Catholic education at St. Maryís Grade and High Schools in Bismarck, St. Johnís University in Collegeville, MN, and St. Paulís Seminary in St. Paul, MN. While in the seminary, he was the personal attendant for Archbishop Sheen for a week and it was the greatest experience of his life. He was ordained a priest on June 2, 1957, by Bishop Hacker at the Cathedral of Holy Spirit in Bismarck.
His first assignment after ordination was at St. Leoís Catholic Church in Minot. He went on to serve the communities of Mott, New England, Douglas, Ryder, Makoti, Donnybrook, Tolley, Raleigh (where he started a boarding school program and also served as superintendent, principal, athletic director, and coach), Parshall, Plaza, Watford City, Grassy Butte, Alexander, Crosby, Noonan, Kenmare, and finally Rice Lake after his retirement in 2001.
He coached the Douglas Babe Ruth Baseball team to the state tournament while in Douglas.
In 1974, he was named NDHSAA cross country coach of the year while stationed in Raleigh and participated in steer riding at the Raleigh rodeo. He won the Brahma bull riding championship at the Grant County Fair.
Fr. Wald was an avid downhill skier and was able to ski in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He also scuba dove the Cayman Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
He had the opportunity to meet four popes while studying in and visiting Rome.
In 1966, he purchased property at Rice Lake and lived there until 2010, when health concerns forced him to take up residence at the Wellington Assisted Living and later at Somerset Court in Minot.
He established the Father & Friends Scholarship Fund for new 6th grade students in the Minot Catholic School system. He was also a founding member of the Hogan Society.
His proudest achievement was being inducted into the Bishop Ryan High School Hall of Fame in 2009.
Fr. Wald is survived by his brother, Merlin ìBootsî of Boise, ID; sisters, Margaret Koch of Bismarck, ND, Sharon Pagasky of McDonald, PA, and Carol Kramer of Minot, ND; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Fr. Wald was preceded in death by his father and mother; brother, Ronald ìSpikeî; brother-in-law, Robert Koch; sister-in-law, Irene Wald; and nephews, John Koch and Robert Scott Koch.
Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Leoís Catholic Church, Minot.
Interment: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Douglas, ND.
Visitation: Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Leoís Catholic Church, Minot.
Vigil Prayer Service: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Leoís Catholic Church, Minot.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Bishop Ryan Catholic School c/o Fr. Kenneth Wald Scholarship Fund.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).