Abby and Austin Pinke Engagement Announcement

Abby Walker, daughter of Steve and Julie Walker of St. James, MN, has become engaged to Austin Pinke, son of Tim and Nancy Pinke of St. James, MN.

Wedding Date

Saturday, October 20, 2018


It was on September 9th, 2017. Abby was working all day at Scheels, and Austin was very persistent about wanting to celebrate completing his first week of school at TCU. Abby worked until 7 and Austin planned a picnic at sunset at the Linneaus Arboretum in St. Peter after she was home from work. Instead of picnic food that Abby was expecting, Austin filled a cooler with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. After Abby opened the cooler to find the champagne and no food, she turned around with a look of confusion. Austin helped Abby stand up (as he always does), and got down on one knee. After she said yes, they went to Chankaska Winery (a typical spot their families like to meet to celebrate events), and met Abby's and Austin's parents to share the great news!

How They Met

Abby and Austin were high school sweethearts that began dating the summer before Abby's senior year and Austin's junior year of high school at St. James Senior High School. Abby went to college at Winona State University and the two put their relationship on hold during her first year of college and throughout while Austin was in college at University of Minnesota-Morris and Grandview University in Des Moines, IA. Austin and Abby saw each other here and there and still spoke and remained close even though they weren't "boyfriend/girlfriend" After Abby moved to Minneapolis after college (2013), Austin sent her chocolate and flowers on her birthday. Abby called to say thank you and they have been "together," ever since. Abby had a brain tumor removed in November of 2015 in which she underwent several weeks of rehab and healing from surgery. Through all of the ups and downs, Austin never left her side. He even slept on an uncomfortable chair next to her bedside the night before she had surgery! Austin took Abby to many appointments following surgery, and still takes her to her MRI appointments and followups. Austin is extremely supportive and is always there. He has never failed to be there for Abby in sickness and in health. After healing from her surgery, Abby decided to return to school and enrolled at MSU-Mankato where she is pursuing her high-school English Education degree, while working part time at Scheels and Caribou Coffee in St. Peter. Austin is currently getting his Master's Degree from MSU-Mankato and teaches special education at Tri City United High School in Montgomery.