Marlene Marie Walden (née Dalich), 81, of Great Falls, passed away on October 19, 2019.
Marlene was born in 1938 in Great Falls to the late Mildred and Tony Dalich. After graduating high school, she struck off to Fresno, Calif., where she worked as an x-ray technician. But Montana was always “home,” and she returned to Great Falls where she soon met Bill Walden, her future husband.
Bill and Marlene were married in 1960, and they shortly gave birth to their only son, Dirk. In the early 60s through 2000s, she and Bill traveled the world, from Morocco to Portugal, from Hawaii to the Caribbean. Their favorite place of all, by far, was Paris, were they returned many times to wander the streets; Marlene practiced her French in small cafés, admired the elaborate gardens, and gathered inspiration for her cooking.
Marlene was an active member of the Great Falls chapter of Junior League and donated prolifically to local charities. She enjoyed painting, especially with watercolors; in the 1970s she won a prize and recognition for one of her paintings at the “Art in the Park,” which spurred her to co-found Gallery 16 in downtown Great Falls, which still showcases local art today.
Bill passed away suddenly in March, and she was never quite the same after he was gone. It seemed as if grandpa was cajoling, “let’s go,” as she lingered behind him, continuing to smile and chat, as it often happened at family dinners. But grandpa had left us—and as always—she was going with him. Hopefully they’re enjoying a drink and chocolate croissants at the Café Flore, or are just somewhere happy, together.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website .