MORELL-WALKUP, Margaret (Boles)

Margaret Morell

Margaret (Boles) Morell-Walkup passed away peacefully at the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Home on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at the age of 101. Margaret was born on a farm five miles northwest of Three Hills, Alberta, Canada on August 17, 1919, the second child of Foster and Jeannette Boles. She attended a one-room schoolhouse in the horse and buggy days. After that, she attended Three Hills High School in town. Later, she attended Calgary Normal School and became a teacher for four years in one-room schoolhouses.

The schools were located in the towns of Hemaruka, Caroline and Markerville, Alberta. Canada joined World War II in Europe on September 3rd in 1939. In 1943, Margaret went to work for the United States Army Engineers in Whitehorse, Yukon. The trip there was exciting because she was flying on a US military transport aircraft from Edmonton and this was her first airplane trip. She worked in mess and billeting to support the US Army Engineers and Canadians building the Alaska Highway (ALCAN) from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska. The highway was built to transport military equipment from the mainland USA to Alaska in the event of an attack by Japan. After the war, the Alaska Highway was dedicated to Canada. It was an exciting adventure for Margaret as she met people from all over the US and the world. She worked in Whitehorse for two and a half years and got to explore the beautiful scenery in the Yukon and Alaska. After the war, Margaret returned to teaching in Vancouver, British Columbia. Through a friend, Margaret met George Morell in Tacoma, WA. They became engaged and were married on December 26, 1947. Margaret entered the United States as a “war bride” and received the necessary papers from Vancouver, BC for immigration into the US. She became a citizen on July 30th 1951. They first lived in San Francisco where Margaret worked for Schmidt Lithograph and then moved to Chicago for 2 ½ years where Margaret worked for the Rain and Hail Insurance Bureau. They decided to return to Tacoma where daughters Karen and Nancy were born. They moved to Pasadena, California for a short while but George’s health was deteriorating so they moved back to Tacoma. George passed away September 1, 1984.

George and Margaret were married for 37 years. Margaret’s career job was working at the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office in Tacoma, WA for thirty-three years. She retired as Director of Administration in 1986. Margaret enjoyed her career and made many friendships with coworkers that continued after retirement. She always looked forward to the Retirees’ Christmas lunches and visiting with the group. In 1986, Margaret met Richard Walkup, a retired army man, at a senior’s dance and in 1987 they were married. With this marriage, Margaret expanded her family with stepson Bruce and stepdaughter Cindy. Dick and Margaret travelled extensively in the beautiful countries of Canada and the United States as well as parts of the Caribbean including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Dick passed away on August 22, 2013. They were married for 26 years. Margaret enjoyed travelling. She and daughter, Nancy, travelled to New York City and she treasured a photo of them standing on the roof of the World Trade Center one year and two days before 911. With daughter, Karen, she went on several great cruises, bus tours of National Parks and car trips. Margaret was a very social person. She had a positive attitude toward life and a good sense of humor. She was “Aunt” Margaret to many people and always enjoyed social gatherings and events with extended family and friends. She excelled at organizing activities such as picnics and parties. She was especially happy when relatives would stop at the house for a visit along their travels. Margaret loved flowers and every spring planted flower beds to enjoy all the colorful flowers in bloom in the summer. Margaret was an avid Seattle Mariners fan and kept track of their schedule so she did not miss a game.

Also a Seahawks fan, in the fall she watched their games. The Seahawks honored Margaret on her 100th birthday by sending the team mascot, Blitz, to present her with gifts. She was given a team jersey with her name embroidered on it and the number 100. Also, a birthday poster signed by several team members with their name and number and her own football. In honor of her 101st birthday, Margaret received an official Buckingham Palace congratulatory message, in the form of a letter, from Her Majesty The Queen and an official letter from Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette. After retirement, Margaret created genealogical albums for families on both sides of the family tree as an historical keepsake. The families are appreciative of this very special gift and the work it took to create these albums. In earlier days, Margaret would crochet and sew. She loved to read and always kept up with current events. A special tribute to Margaret is how she kept close ties to her family and friends. She often said: “I treasure my friends and relatives.” She was loved and appreciated and this was evident by the large attendance at Margaret’s special 100th birthday party in 2019. It made lovely, lasting memories for all of us and was a celebration of a life well lived. Many will miss her. The family extends special thanks to the nurses, caregivers and staff at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center in providing for our mother’s care during these last two years. Predeceased by parents Foster and Jeannette Boles, sister Beatrice and brothers Howard, Foster and George. Margaret is survived by daughters Karen and Nancy (Andrew), stepdaughter Cindy (Bill), stepson Bruce (Carolyn), granddaughters Amy (Alex), Kate (Kasey), Marley, great grandsons AJ, Max and Benny, great granddaughter Sophia and many loving nieces and nephews. The family requests in lieu of flowers a donation be made to a charity of your choice in memory of Margaret. The funeral service will be held with limited attendance at Mountain View Funeral Home in the Valley Chapel, Tacoma, Washington, on Friday, January 15th at 1PM.

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