On Sunday, January 19, 2020, Marjorie Wells Montchalin passed away at the age of 89, surrounded by loving family. Marjorie was born September 4, 1930 in Raymond, Washington to Jimmy and Mildred (Hanson) Wells. She lived with her Grandparents, Muddy and O.B. Wells and her big sister Doris (b. 1927). Thanks to a creek that ran through the property, a waterwheel generator powered the first electric light in the area. It was said that people drove for miles to see it, and Grandpa Ormond obliged them by leaving it on all night. Marjorie’s father, Jimmy Wells opened a radio repair shop in downtown Raymond and advertised, “Any radio fixed for $1.”
The family moved to Seattle and Marjorie made a lifelong friend in Pat. In Seattle they had sidewalks and —roller skates! Marjorie’s mom, insisted that her daughters attend college. After Roosevelt High School, Marjorie went to University of Washington and was in the sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. Marjorie studied Math and Science. With the help of a friend, she was introduced to the love of her life, “Monte,” aka Mitchell Louis Montchalin, who loved Marjorie not only because she was beautiful, but because she was smart.
Mitchell, an army lieutenant, could not marry her in good conscience as he would likely serve in the Korean war and leave her widowed. Then, Marjorie received a long distance phone call. It was Mitchell. His new orders would send him to Austria. He proposed. “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!” She answered. And thus the future of our family was set. She sailed to Europe, via “Leghorn,” (Locarno, Italy) destination: Lenz, Austria as an officer’s wife. They toured Austria, France, and Italy in their 1950 Hudson to visit Mike’s step-father’s village of Pontremoli Castegnetoli and then to Paul Monchalin in Le Puy, France.
Marjorie and Mike returned to Portland and had four boys, who kept her hands full: Mike, Mark, Matthew, and Marshall. Marjorie, became an expert mom. Her love for each one of them was unconditional. She was their ally and she wanted the best for each of them.
Marjorie and Mike ran Montchalin Mfg Co from ’62 to ’73 and made upholstered furniture in the White Stag Building, which they owned. A memorable tenant was Phil Knight and Blue Ribbon Sports, which became Nike. They bought various properties and Marjorie was always taking care of the books.
Marjorie had three grandchildren, Mitch, son of Mike Jr. and Bibiana, and Mark’s kids, Vincent, and Michelle. To them, Marjorie was a joy . Marjorie often asked to be called “Grand-mama”, and she spent lots of time caring for, spoiling and playing with them. She was often visited by her great-grandchildren: Rowan, and Daphne. They shared a special bond with Marjorie, filling her home with childlike energy. Marjorie was able to live her final years, with all the comforts of home and constant companionship. Days spent filled with music and all the stories of her life being recited by Vincent and Mark.
Marjorie loved: her husband and children, and also coffee, old songs, crossword puzzles, dogs, cats, plants, gardening and especially flowers and children. It was a joy and privilege for us to have Marjorie fill our lives with happiness, and to return the love and care that Marjorie had given us. Marjorie will always be remembered for her profound happiness and optimism. Her strength, wit, and love is something all her descendants will carry with them.
Marjorie was preceded in death by beloved husband Mike and older sister Doris Bishop, who she always spoke of so fondly.
Marjorie is survived by her younger siblings Jim and Susanne. By her eldest son Mike and his wife Bibiana and their son, Mitch. Her second son Mark and his children, Vincent and Michelle. Her third son Matthew and fourth son Marshall. By Michelle and Joel’s children, Rowan and Daphne (Marjorie’s great-grandchildren).
Marjorie was a wonderful woman who will be remembered fondly and missed dearly.
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Time: 08:30 am
End Time: 09:30 am
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