Serving Whitman County since 1877

Marilyn Annette Walli

Nov. 30, 1942 - Dec. 31, 2023

Marilyn Annette Walli was born November 30, 1942, in Colfax, Washington. She was the only child of John and Agnes (Thompson) Walli. She died December 31, 2023, following a long struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Her paternal grandparents, John and Anna Walli, immigrated from Selbu, Norway, to the area near La Crosse, Washington, in 1907, a few months before their son John was born. The Norwegian-American community centered around Selbu Lutheran Church was an important element of her family life. She remained a life-long member of that congregation, even after she joined the congregation of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Spokane.

Most of Marilyn's youth was spent in La Crosse, where her father owned a grocery store for many years. He later became the town's Postmaster. She was educated in the La Crosse public schools, graduating from La Crosse High School in 1961 as class Salutatorian.

She attended Whitworth College for her pre-nursing training from 1961 to 1962. She then completed her nursing education at Deaconess Hospital, in Spokane, WA., and graduated from the Deaconess nursing program in 1965, earning her R.N. degree. After graduation, she began working at Deaconess Hospital, but also attended night school at Whitworth College, completing her Bachelor of Nursing Education degree from Whitworth in 1966. Following her graduation from Whitworth, she had a year of additional Public Health training and experience at the University of Washington, where she received her Public Health certification.

After she finished her studies, she began working for the Spokane County Health Department, and later the Spokane Regional Health District. She spent her entire 45-year career working in Public Health, including as a Public Health Nurse and Program supervisor for the District. She also served as team leader for District's programs, and was manager of the Washington State "First Steps" program in Spokane County, which provided support and services for at-risk children, particularly those from families with single mothers. She received the Washington State Nurses Association's highest Public Health award in 1996, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association in 2009. She retired in 2010.

She was extremely interested in her Norwegian heritage, and made four trips to Selbu, Norway: two with her parents, one individually, and the most recent as part of a family heritage tour in 2014.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Agnes Walli. Her extended family was extremely important to her, and she is survived by a loving network of cousins in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Iowa, and Indiana, as well as in Canada and Norway.

Marilyn's memorial service will be at Selbu Lutheran Church, near La Crosse, Washington at 11:00 a.m., April 3. A luncheon, served by the Selbu Women's organization, will be provided following the service.

Her family suggests that memorial gifts be given in her name to: the American Parkinson Disease Association, P.O. Box 61420, Staten Island, NY 10306; Selbu Lutheran Church, 6004 Mud Flat Rd. La Crosse, WA 99143; or St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99203. Corbeill Funeral Home in Colfax is caring for the family. On-line condolences may be made at


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