Marlene Faye Wetzel was born to Doris L. (Barlow) and Walter S. Wetzel on Aug. 4, 1939, in Browning. She was the first born and became little mother to William (Petesy), Helen (Penny), Walter Jr., Donald, Michael and Sher. She later became big sister to Lance and Christine.
Funeral mass was held Monday, Dec. 12 at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Cut Bank, with burial following in the Crown Hill Cemetery.
After graduating from high school in 1958, Marlene married Rick Reagan, and they were blessed with Arden, Susan, Reid, Barbara and Anita. Their 14 years together were spent working hard ranching, rodeoing, camping, doing 4-H activities and enjoying family visits. It wasn’t easy with five kids, but she always put the needs of her family first. She was about Love, Caring, Grit and quick Wit.
After her children were all in school, Marlene pursued her passion and received her LPN degree from Kalispell Community College. Her nursing career spanned more than 30 years between Kalispell and Helena. She initially enjoyed working with mothers and newborns, but as the years went on she was drawn to caring for the disabled and elderly in nursing care facilities. Even late in her career, she continued to put in double shifts in consideration of the needs of the patients. She never complained. In fact, she loved it. She had a very compassionate and giving heart.
After losing Grandma Doris in 1988, Aunt Mars and Aunt Penny picked up the grandma role for their nieces and nephews and their homes were open to regular get-togethers. She was so young at heart and always tried to better the situations by listening to what they had going on, talking, joking, listening to latest music or just silliness and fun. She had a soft heart for kids and animals and would not turn away any.
Mom has always enjoyed sports − barrel racing on her favorite horse, Chief; following her brothers to basketball and softball tournaments; traveling to rodeos; attending Big Sky Games; participating in Women’s Run, Governor’s Cup and Race for a Cure; watching all levels of family’s basketball, cross country, football, track and field, volleyball and wrestling. She loved it all. Then there were the other guys in her life − she was so into NFL and NBA − “Oh, get out of here!”
Thank you, God, for blessing us with our mother and the traits she has passed to us and our families – Arden “Rikki” and John Salazar and Franco, Nathaniel, Tenille Salazar and Zach Jones and their son Ché Jones; Reid and Tammy and Robert Reagan; Barbie and Dick Powell; Anita Reagan and Casey Lange and Anita’s daughter Taylor Louis and her son Hudson Christensen, Taylor’s fiancé Brandon Tyler and their daughter Baylee, daughter Ashley Louis and Jake Castro, and daughter Jada LaTray.
Mom is survived by siblings Petesy, Walter Jr., Don Sr., Sher, Lance and Cassie and Christine Wetzel; nieces and nephews Sandra Horn and Nathan Gilbert, Lea Wetzel, Charmaine and Sean Engum, Camille and Richard McCormick, Kelsea Wetzel, Keane and Spencer Gates, Bill, Rex and Justin and Jordan Wetzel, Ray Luchi, John Wilson, Shawn, Donnie Jr. and Kesley, Ryan and Brooke, Bobby and Meagan, Christian and Brooke Wetzel, and Paul and Quinn Horst, Jake and Sidney Wetzel, Robert Wetzel, Kylee, Tevin, Titus and Tedrick Wetzel and their families.
As Mom began her life everlasting on Dec. 4, 2022, she will be reunited with her parents; grandparents; daughter Susan; sister Penny and husband Manuel White; sister-in-law Grace and nephew Timmy Wetzel; and brother Mike and nephew Scott Wetzel.
Do what you must do and do it with kindness and love to others − for Mom it came naturally. She would not turn anyone away.
Continue to shine our tough, little Warrior. We Love You!
Condolences can be shared at www.asperfh.com.