1943 - 2012
Marilynn passed away peacefully on Nov. 28, 2012, at her home surrounded by her family. Born on April 1, 1943, in Walla Walla to Elizabeth Tompkins Mele and Rudolph Mele, Marilynn became what would be the oldest of four siblings whom she would mentor. Marilynn attended St. Patrick’s Grade School and graduated from DeSales High School.
On July 16, 1960, she married Scott Richard at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Walla Walla. Marilynn’s life revolved around the raising and nurturing of her six children. Never missing a sporting event, whether in the heat of a July baseball game or the freezing temperatures of a football game, Mom, Grandma Mary was there. It took the diagnosis of stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2011, not to stop, but to curtail, Marilynn’s passionate devotion to her children and grandchildren. She was, in every sense of the word, a matriarch.
In addition to her passion for her family, Marilynn was often mistaken for the owner of the Ice-Burg, where she worked as a devoted employee for 27 years. After her retirement from the Ice-Burg, she turned her spectator status at Pacific Little League Field into Scott’s assistant groundskeeper. The fields never looked better. Ultimately, Marilynn’s life was founded on her faith and her family. With a prayer card tucked in her shirt and a St. Jude medal pinned to her blouse, Marilynn was always the DeSales Irish’s most devout fan.
Besides the time in the stands, Marilynn volunteered tirelessly for the Walla Walla Catholic Schools. She and Scott’s dedication to Catholic education has been chronicled for the ages.
Marilynn is survived by Scott, her loving husband of 52 years; and their six children, daughters, Lorie (Mike) Spiess, Kristin Richard, and sons, Todd (Katherine) Richard, Brian (Susan) Richard, Thomas (Christine) Richard, and Jason Richard. She is also survived by her 17 grandchildren, Chris, Sarah and Marcus Spiess, Ryan, Emily and Matthew Baumgart, Casey, Chris, Nicholas and Michael Richard; Connor and Austin Richard; Joshua, Timothy and Patrick Richard; and Averie and Skylar Richard. Beyond these, Marilynn was blessed with two great-grandchildren, Makiah Richard and Lucas Richard. Marilynn is also survived by her sister, Gerianne (Greg) Graham; and brother, Mike Mele. Numerous nieces and nephews have also been nurtured by Marilynn. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her brother, Rev. Tom Mele.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The Rosary will be recited on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at 6 p.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Sister Rosalie Locati officiating. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Jeff Core, celebrant. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to DeSales Booster Club, Walla Walla Community Hospice or St. Mary Regional Cancer Center through the funeral home. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.