Wallace, always known as Wally by his family, friends, and community, was born on July 8, 1930 to Walter and Dorothy (Hansen) Slaamod in Carpio, ND. He was the oldest of three children. His family later moved to Edmore, ND where his mother and father farmed, and set a love of farming, mechanics, and dirt in his blood.
Despite only receiving an 8th grade education, Wally obtained a degree in Photography from the New York School of Photography and maintained such a hobby for years to come.
Wally enlisted into the United States Air Force in 1951. One of Wally’s favorite stories to tell was when he enlisted into the Air Force, he wanted to be a mechanic. He was put through training and stationed in the Alaskan Territory, prior to statehood. Once stationed, he was “appointed” as a baker for his division.
While in Alaska, Wally’s love of photography flourished, and filled countless albums of his time in Anchorage, Nome, Fairbanks, and Fort Wainwright.
Wally was honorably discharged from the Air Force in November of 1953. Upon returning home, Wally started working at the mechanic shop of James Cash, his future father-in-law. On August 31, 1957, Wally was united in marriage to Laverne Cash.
In the late 1950’s, Wally and Laverne moved to Park River and started their family. While living in Park River, Wally used his knowledge of mechanics and farming by working at various places including: Cudmore Gravel, the Livestock Sales Barn, the feed mill, and Johnson Farms. After he “retired” Wally went to work on Hankey Farms part time.
Apart from his strong work ethic, Wally had many hobbies aside from photography. An avid tinkerer and builder, with every piece of scrap metal or engine he found at auction sales, he built his own tractor and various implements to tend to the big garden behind his house. Always the farmer at heart, Wally and Laverne started planting more than they could ever eat and they started selling vegetables and expanding with the construction of a greenhouse.
Wally’s other passion in life was music. He played the harmonica, accordion, and the organ, but he always told people “the best instrument I can play is the radio! I never miss a beat on it!” His love of polka music filled the house and his garage where he spent many, many hours. Not only was he proficient with musical talent, but musical trivia, about the classic Myron Floren and Lawrence Welk, his idols when it came to the accordion.
Wally was able to remain in his home as long as he could, and maintained his independence past his 91st birthday. He celebrated his birthday with his favorite, chocolate cake, which he got to share with his great-grandchildren.
Wally will be remembered by his family and friends as not only the old man that lived on the hill with the big garden and homemade blue tractor, but a loving person to his family and a symbol of a life well lived.
Wally is survived by his sister Donna Randolph of Arkansas, sons: Gerald (Lisa) of Park River, ND, Gary (Brenda) of St. Cloud, MN, grandchildren Dustin (Kelsey) of Park River, ND, Nathan of Pisek, ND, and great-grandchildren Drake and Leia Slaamod.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and sister Viola.
Private graveside services will be held at a later date.