Wallace "Wally" Weivoda
Wallace R. "Wally" Weivoda of Polson, 83, passed peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Sunday, April 15, 2018 at the Lake View Healthcare Center in Bigfork, Montana.
Wally was born September 9, 1934 in St. Ignatius, Montana. He was the youngest of four children born to George and Anna (Morigeau) Weivoda. Raised in the Mission Valley at their Mud Creek ranch, he graduated from Ronan High School in 1952. He met Gerry McLain, a red haired Candy Striper at Polson’s St. Joseph Hospital, in 1953. They married in 1954, making their first home in Ronan. Wally worked for Milo Jensen at the local Conoco filling station, and then for Bob Sterling in the Sterling Hardware store on Ronan’s Main Street, all the while juggling nine years as a Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. Retail sales suited Wally, so they moved to Polson in 1960. He joined Buck Black at the B & W Hardware-Gambles store and after seven years, he purchased the store in 1967 with wife Gerry at his side. Warm greetings, smiles and customer service were his hallmark. He earned several awards from the Gambles franchise for sales and management, and was named to their Dealer Advisory Board. The level of sales they achieved made it possible for them, along with neighboring Gambles franchise owners, to visit the world abroad forging lifelong friendships.
Wally and four partners owned and operated the Diamond Horseshoe bar for more than a decade. He dug goose pits and improved the Polson shooting range under the direction of Polson Outdoors Inc., of which he was a member. He spent countless hours as a Jaycee working on the Polson Rodeo structures and grounds as well as other community projects. Jaycees honored him with the “Boss of the Year” award in 1973. Wally was also proud to have been a lifelong member of the Elks. He was instrumental in the success of downtown Polson during the 60’s and 70’s, as well as campaigning to bring a branch of the Whitefish Credit Union to town and serving on the Lake County Loan Review Board for years.
His greatest enjoyments in life were his family, and the seasonal hunting, fishing, wood gathering and work projects he did with family and friends. Much of his free time was focused on planning these outings. Selling the Gambles Store in 1980, he and Gerry retired to their home on Flathead Lake’s west shore. You were family once you walked in their door and seldom would you leave without a full belly and great memories. Unable to sit still for long, Wally, along with Dean Durand, started D.W. Contracting in 1982. Wally excelled in the planning and execution of many valley wide projects. Wally and Gerry began to snowbird outside of Las Vegas, NV, accumulating a wide circle of new friends and hosting their Montana friends and family at their cozy condominium complex. Once a regal spa just outside of Las Vegas, they watched as the city grew beyond their door! In 2004, Wally and Gerry celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their new residence in Pablo next to daughter Bev and son Chuck’s homes. Gerry passed in 2008 from a hard fought 29-year battle against cancer.
Wally was a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and served on the board of directors for several tribal programs. Wally was preceded in death by his newborn twin brother, his parents George and Anna Weivoda, brother George J. Weivoda, sister Lillian (Weivoda) DiPasquale, grandson Christopher Weivoda, wife Gerry Byrl Weivoda, son Charles R. Weivoda, niece Rachelle (McLain) Thompson, nephew Rusty McLain, niece Geri (DiPasquale) Dallman and nephew Dale Barber.
Surviving Wally is his brother Phillip Weivoda and family of Washington. His children Leonard Combs, Beverly (Orr) and her husband Dewey Richards, Deborah Weivoda, Michael Weivoda and his wife Pamela and daughter-in-law Carolyn (Jackson) Weivoda survive him. He is also survived by grandchildren Justin (Jami) Borders, Blake (Stacey) Richards, Charmel (Shawn) Sternick, Koral (Pat) Haggard, Brianna (Brad) Rowe and Anthony Weivoda along with nine great-grandchildren and many more nieces and nephews.
In memory of Wally, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association http://act.alz.org/donate to help combat and stop this crippling disease. Our family would like to thank Dr. Heather Jones, the staff of Comfort Keepers of Kalispell, Providence St. Joseph Assisted Living, The Springs of Missoula, Hospice of Missoula, Lake View Healthcare Community of Bigfork, Dr. Jenko and Home Options Hospice of Kalispell for all of the outstanding concern and care they exhibited for Wally and his family over these past few years.
A celebration of Wally’s life will take place at Boettcher Park Pavilion “A” from noon to 4pm on Saturday, May 19. Please join us with stories, memories and photos of this amazing man’s life.