Stevensville – Marlene Joan Beeler, age 78, died Tuesday, August 5, 2014 in Missoula, MT of a rare fallopian cancer. Marlene was preceded in death by her precious infant son, Dellray James, in 1962; by two stepsons, Mike and Gary Beeler, and her husband Gene in 2007.
Marlene was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1936, the only daughter of Earl and Florence Colemer. Her brother, Jerry, joined the family two years later. She was raised in northern Minnesota, and it was there that she married Duane Borg in 1955. They had three children and although the marriage ended after only three years, they remained friends until Duane’s death in 2013.
Marlene later married Ward Valline in 1960; they had four children and enjoyed traveling the U.S.
Marlene married Lee Gene Beeler in 1970; they settled in Stevensville, enjoying the Bitterroot Valley together until his death in 2007. Marlene managed the Frontier Trailer Court until the time of her death.
Marlene was a smart woman who was always learning, whether how to act as her own mechanic on her vehicles (surprising more than one man!), or do basic construction; although she never built a house, she did extensive remodeling projects… it wasn’t unusual to come home and find walls moved, or simply gone!
She took everything in stride without complaining, including two stints of homelessness with six children! At the time, we thought cramming 17 people in a school bus was a great family adventure, and later, living between two parks was simply an extended camping trip!
Marlene enjoyed the outdoors, including camping, hunting and fishing; she was a good shot, although the family does recall one intentional “miss”! In later years she treasured her annual train trip to Wisconsin to visit her brother, Jerry, and his family.
Marlene is survived by her loving husband, Rod; six children, Deb (Wes) Wetherelt, of Klamath Falls, OR, Rick (Gwen) Borg, of Clear Lake, MN, Sherry (Ed) Olson, of Murphy, ID, Becky Eiker of Missoula, MT, Doug (Tina) Valline of Choteau, MT, and Russ (Farah) Valline of Boise ID, and three stepsons, Dan, Rick and Bob Beeler. She had 18 grandchildren and 28-1/2 great- grandchildren.
A self-described “crabby old woman” who didn’t mince words, Marlene had a heart of gold; she was willing to help anyone, and so often did. Her family will be forever grateful that she re-met and married Rod, the love of her life, in 2009 as he ensured her last years were filled with love and laughter. She wasn’t perfect (as none of us are), but she was loved; we will miss her.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.