Linda Marie Walrath, 70, of Missoula, passed away on Thursday, February 1, 2018 with her husband, Jack, by her bedside, after a long battle with breast cancer.
She was born on January 10, 1948 in Spokane, WA to Edward M. Pope and Audrey Marie Andersen. She was always her father’s “Favorite Brunette “and her mother’s “Darling Girl”. She lived with her mom and dad in Darby, MT, where her lifelong passion for horses began. That’s when she got her first horse, “Gallant Lady”. In her teens, with her horse, Dot, was where she could be found, and later “Tiffany” carried her into the mountains. She loved all things “horse.”
The family moved to Missoula and added a little sister, Lana. Linda attended St. Anthony Grade School, graduated from Sacred Heart Academy and the University of Montana, with degrees in Social Work and Journalism. She spent her work career as a social worker and a chemical dependency counselor.
On September 5, 1970, she married Jack Walrath and they resided in Missoula. Much of their summers were spent at Flathead Lake. She loved spending time there and their mobile home gave her sense of humor license to create a huge collection of pink flamingos in every shape, style and medium. She was an avid reader and liked to “read and rock” on the deck at the lake. Many enjoyable times were spent there with family and friends.
She was an amazing mother and aunt. She provided many opportunities including travel with her son, Patrick, to Europe, Hawaii, the West and East Coasts and New York. They had numerous adventures together. She also travelled with her sister, niece, husband and her friends throughout her life. She liked to explore new places and Montana places. She enjoyed a good suspense story, Lady Griz basketball, football, and Sentinel Spartans, when her niece, Brie, played. She had an insatiable taste for chocolate.
Linda made many friends in her life from childhood neighbors, grade school, high school, college, career and adulthood. A special thanks to all her friends who offered hugs, kisses, prayers and positive thoughts.
She spent many childhood Thanksgivings and summer reunions on the St. Joe River with the Pope Family. Christmas was in Darby growing up, then Missoula, with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Many commented that her cousins were more like brothers and sisters. Thanks to all of them for their support with texts, calls, visits and the love and concern showed to Linda and family.
When she became less mobile and unable to travel, Facebook became a source of fun for her to keep track of family and friends and to enjoy shared animal videos, especially horses, puppies and kittens!
Her life was well-lived. She embraced it, laughed a lot, was serious when needed and thankful for each and every moment. Her company will always be missed and her leaving leaves a hole in our hearts! She is at peace, surrounded by those who left before. She was preceded in death by her parents and many family members and friends.
She is survived by:
Husband: Jack Walrath
Son: Patrick Walrath (partner, Renée Young)
Sister: Lana Jean Pope
Niece: Brie Finbraaten
The “Other” Walraths
Many friends and cousins.
Special thanks to: Dr. Linda Ries, Dr. Judy Schmidt, all the caregivers at St. Patrick’s Hospital, The Village, and Partners Hospice Care.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at Garden City Funeral Home at 2pm with reception to follow in their community room.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Habitat for Humanity and The Humane Society.
If you are unable to attend, please send a card with your memory of Linda to the family at 2765 Mulberry Ln, Missoula, MT 59804.