Peter Ray Mahlum, 60, died Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
He was born to Edwin Palmer Mahlum and Nellie Arvis Mahlum on Nov. 10, 1952, in Kalispell.
He was a third-generation Montanan who loved life and loved spending his time with family and those he loved. Throughout his life, Pete developed a fascination and enduring interest in the water, be it the Pacific Ocean or mountain lakes in Montana, and throughout the decades cultivated this passion by fishing, boating, scuba diving and water skiing, and his interest in marine biology and underwater photography.
Pete grew up in Kalispell and graduated from Flathead High School in 1970, taking an interest in aviation and learning to pilot small planes when he was a teenager. He immediately joined the Navy after high school, serving his tour of duty as an aviation electrician on reconnaissance planes, primarily flying missions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war. Following his military service, Pete remained in Guam, becoming a certified dive instructor and managing a dive shop, when he met and instantly fell in love with Gina Louise Sheffer. Pete and Gina were married in Piedmont, Calif., on Dec. 16, 1978, and spent their first years together on Guam as dive instructors. Pete and Gina moved to Hawaii, where Pete earned a B.A. in zoology from the University of Hawaii, and they had two sons, Nicholas in 1982, and Logan in 1985.
Pete and his family relocated to the Flathead Valley in 1985, where his parents, brother, sister and their families lived. Pete worked for the Department of State Lands, earned a registered nursing degree from the Salish Kootenai College, and worked as an RN for the Veterans Hospital in Columbia Falls throughout the decades of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s.
Pete and Gina spent 23 years in Bigfork and had a daughter, Chelsea, in 1992, and lovingly raised their family. Pete, above all, loved to spend time with his family and friends, and could often be found camping, fishing, water skiing and boating with them on Swan Lake.
Pete is preceded in death by his mother and father, Nellie and Edwin Mahlum.
Pete is survived by his three children, Nicholas, Logan and Chelsea; his loving, lifelong companion Gina; his daughter-in-law, Jen; his three grandchildren, James, Chad and Holly; his older brother, Edwin; his older sister, Sandy; and numerous nephews, nieces and in-laws who love him very much.
A service will be held in memory of Pete at noon on Friday, Oct. 4 the Cavalry Lutheran Church in Evergreen.
Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for Pete’s family. You are invited to go to www.jgfuneralhome.com to view Pete’s guest book, offer condolences and share memories.