The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Obituary: Marlis Willey

Marlis Willey passed away peacefully at home on a beautiful spring morning Saturday 4/13/2024. She will be joining her husband Mack at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena on Monday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m. Please join us for a short graveside service if you can.

Marlis and her twin Mavis were born in North Dakota and were raised by loving parents during the Great Depression. They grew up with enough to eat but very little else. Gardening and homemade clothes were practices she and her sisters grew up with and carried on most of their adult lives.

The twins graduated high school and went off to find work and opportunity; landing eventually in California where Marlis met her lifelong partner in adventure "Mack" Willey. They married, settled in Montana and adopted two children to share their lives - Jan and Mike ("Mik"). After Mack retired from the Navy, he joined the telephone company (Mountain Bell) and Marlis had her own chain-stitch monogramming business so she could be home for the kids. They went camping, snowmobiling and traveling whenever Mack could get off work. Their passion for travel and the outdoors was fully realized when Mack retired and they moved to a place just outside of Lincoln, Mont. They bought a mobile home to live in and an RV to travel in and hit the road.

The twins got back together after losing their husbands and lived in Texas for five years until Marlis returned to Montana to live with her daughter. She struggled with health issues and dementia during their too short time together, and she was able to remain at home with the compassionate care and help of Livingston Healthcare Hospice.

Marlis is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, three sisters and numerous nieces and nephews. *Full names have been omitted due to security concerns, not from a lack of love.


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