Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Merle Walling

| July 4, 2024 12:00 AM

Merle was an amazing and kind woman who loved her family above all.

Merle Elaine Walling passed on June 23, 2024. Born on Oct. 12, 1937, in Pasadena, Calif., to parents Gwindon and Anna Elizabeth Spindt, she was the oldest of three children with brother David and sister Sonia. One of her favorite childhood memories was going to her dad’s work to get homemade ice-cream at the dairy.

After graduating from Citrus High School in 1955 in Glendora, Calif., she got a nursing degree and worked in Oakland, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, Calif. She married Charles Walling in 1960, lived in Baldwin Park, Calif., and had three children, Phil, Laura and Jim.

In 1971, the family moved to Polson and enjoyed the shock and awe of winter in the early years, settling first on the east shore and then in downtown Polson in 1976. Merle kept up her career in medicine, starting at the Polson rest home for a brief period before settling in as a receptionist for Dr. O’Halloran for 15 years.

She moved from Polson in 1988, first to Virginia Beach, Va., and then to Frisco, Texas, in 1995 to be nearer to her children and growing posse of grandchildren. At each location she would work in the medical industry as either a nurse or receptionist.

Her primary goal in life was to be a supporter of her family. She was an incredibly generous mother, she had a PhD in “Grandma,” and she was a phenomenal supporter and “play buddy” for all her grandkids in whatever activity they desired.

She retired from work and returned to Polson in 2002. Living on Hillcrest Drive she was an avid walker who could be seen in and around town. Merle filled her days with genealogy research, knitting, traveling and volunteering. In pursuing her passion for her family history, Merle traveled all over the U.S., searching for details and then writing booklets about her Danish family heritage.

Merle also loved to combine her other interests with volunteering. She read to children in an elementary reading program, knitted baby hats and booties for newborns, and helped with voting as an election volunteer.

She is survived by her sister, Sonia, and sister-in-law Betty; her children Phillip Walling, Laura Kelley (Rob) and James Walling (Tina); grandchildren Jennifer Harrison, Brandon Walling, Robert Kelley, Ryan Kelley, Randy Kelley, Elizabeth Walling, Erica Walling and Samuel Walling; nine great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and longtime dedicated friends, Bruce and Jan Agrella.

Merle will be missed by many. She was a fabulous mother, grandmother and great grandmother, a hard-working career nurse, a cancer survivor, and a genealogist. She was a lovely person who will be remembered by many forever.

Special thanks to the Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center for the care and love given to Merle over the last nine months and to the Polson Senior Center for the activities and the home meal-delivery program that she enjoyed for many years.

In lieu of flowers please be extra nice to someone you love today and donate to a cause that is important to you.

Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at www.lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com. Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.