Born in 1928, Wally Gieringer, a native of Farmington, Missouri, attended Catholic grade and high schools and two years at St. Louis University. After graduating from USAF Pilot Training in 1950 he served as an Air Force pilot and USAF Contracting Officer in the U.S. and Korea.
He then worked 17 years in sales for Missouri Natural Gas Company of Farmington, Missouri. In 1970, Wally, his wife Suzy and seven sons moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he worked to create jobs through economic development for the community area by expansion of existing industry and attraction of new industrial investments.
Ordained by Bishop Andrew J. McDonald on November 15, 1986, Deacon Wally's initial assignment was at St. Joseph Parish in Pine Bluff. There he was active in Liturgical and Pastoral Ministires. His greatest joys as a Permanent Deacon included Baptising infants into the faith of the Church and witnessing individuals and families become closer to the Lord.
Recognizing the family as the cornerstone of our society, he and Suzy organized and helped conduct marriage preparation programs for engaged couples and Marriage Encounter programs for those already married.
He actively assisted in planning expansion of parish facilities, the development of a parish Junior High School and then a Senior High School. After retirement in 1994 as an industrial and economic development professional, as a ministry he continued working for expansion of existing and attraction of new industrial jobs and investments.
Deacon Wally and Suzy moved to Hot Springs Village and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in December 1998. His liturgical and pastoral ministries continued. Here he helped organize and conduct the parish RCIA Program. He actively served on the Long Range Planning Committee developing affordable plans for the needed Administration and Education facility.
Although officially retired as deacon in 2003, he continued to serve at the altar, preach in rotation with our pastor and deacons, teach in RCIA, and facilitate adult religious education programs. Since 2012, he assists as needed on a non-scheduled basis. In 2015, he and Suzy celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary, the blessing of their sons and daughters-in-law, 18 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.