Marilyn A Champoux

April 17, 1933 ~ September 21, 2022 (age 89) 89 Years Old


Marilyn Ann (Gray) Champoux went home to be with the Lord on the last day of summer on September 21st, 2022. Marilyn was born to Alfred and Anna (Jelleberg) Gray on April 17th, 1933 in Bottineau County, ND. She joined her big sister, Carol, on the family farm where she spent an idyllic childhood. It was also where she met her lifelong friend, Beverly (Shillander) Jones, in grade school. 

After graduating from high school where she enjoyed playing piccolo and being a baton twirler in the marching band, Marilyn went to college at Minot State and earned a degree in physical education. She and Bev continued their adventures into young adulthood and answered a call to teach in Missoula, MT. It was there that they both met their future husbands. Marilyn married Richard Champoux on July 8, 1959 in California while he was pursuing a PhD at UCLA.

The couple moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID in 1961 where Rick taught at North ID Community College and Marilyn taught for a school district in the area. They had their first child, Carolyn. The young family moved to Kalispell in the fall of 1967 so Rick could be a founding professor of History and Poli Sci at FVCC. Daughter Carla and son Mark followed after the family was settled in Kalispell. Marilyn was hired as a teacher at Evergreen Jr High and worked there for over 30 years until her retirement. She would have loved to continue teaching forever. She liked to talk with her daughters and granddaughter who also became teachers about their classes. She couldn’t fathom how computers had anything to do with learning and what teaching classes online meant! 

Marilyn was known for her delicious homemade dessert bars, hospitality, love of gardening, walking, and deeply caring for others which included students, family, friends and neighbors. Everyone looked forward to her Halloween, Valentine, and Easter care packages that arrived in the mail regularly each year. She was a lifelong church goer and her Bible study group of over 10 years was very important to her. She missed their weekly get-togethers over the last two years during Covid. She and Rick were also Griz football season ticket holders and looked forward to the fall games and opportunities to tailgate with Bev and her husband Bob. Marilyn loved living in the Flathead Valley, attending FHS band and Flathead Symphony and Chorale concerts, lectures at FVCC, plays in Bigfork, PEO meetings, tending to her garden at the family cabin on Echo Lake, and monthly lunches with the retired Evergreen teachers group.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, sister Carol, spouse Rick and friend Bev. She is survived by her daughter Carolyn (Gary) Kinniburgh, Hannah and Courtney (grandkids) of Enumclaw, WA; Daughter Carla (Eric) Woehler, Elise and Daniel of Missoula, MT; Mark (Leah) Champoux, Zoe and Mila of Minneapolis, MN. None of us would be who we are today without the constant support our mom gave us throughout our lives. She was always there to help with a paper route, pick us up from work in high school, attend any function that involved her kids/grandkids and instill the importance of showing up when others are in need. 

The family would like to express appreciation to the staff at Prestige Assisted Living and Home Hospice in Kalispell for their compassionate care of our mom. The family is planning a service at a later date. Online condolences can be sent to the family at Johnson-Gloschat Mortuary in Kalispell. Memorials can be sent to the Evergreen School District Student College Scholarship fund at Evergreen SD 18 W Evergreen Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901 Attn: Business Office/ Scholarship Fund. Marilyn would also love to know you planted gladiolus bulbs in a garden in her memory. They were her favorite flower.  

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