Linda Lee Johnson Melven, 73

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Linda Lee Johnson Melven, 73, passed away peacefully July 30, 2018, at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.

Linda was born Sept. 13, 1944, in West Palm Beach, Florida, to S. Frank Johnson and Charlotte (Diebert) Johnson. She was the second of three girls, Julie the oldest and Joyce the youngest. She met and later married her husband, Edward Melven, in West Palm Beach Nov. 9, 1964.

Linda gave birth to the first of her own three girls, Laurie, in May of 1966. The family soon moved to Traverse City, Michigan, where Beverly (April 1969) and Susan (August 1972) were born. In 1973, the five of them drove up the Al-Can to live in Anchorage, Alaska.

The family spent several years in Anchorage before moving out to the more rural Wasilla, Alaska, where the three girls grew into adults. When the girls were teenagers, Linda worked part-time at the local McDonald’s, where Laurie and Bev also worked.

After the girls grew up and moved away, Linda spent several years in Kalispell near her daughter Susan’s family before returning to Wasilla in the mid-1990s. She moved back to the Flathead Valley in 1997 and never left. She spent many years working at the McDonald’s in Kalispell before her stroke in 2006. She was living at Genesis HealthCare Center in Whitefish when she passed away due to advanced emphysema and metastatic melanoma.

Linda enjoyed playing bingo and keno and seemed to win more than she lost. She loved both jigsaw and word puzzles, reading autobiographies, riding her bicycle around Kalispell and baseball — both playing as a young girl and watching as an adult.

Preceding Linda in death were her parents, S. Frank Johnson and Charlotte (Diebert) Johnson, her husband, Edward Lyle Melven, and her son-in-law, Jim R. Nelson.

Linda is survived by her sisters, Julie Smith of Wingate, North Carolina, and Joyce Judd (Robert) of Greer, South Carolina; and her daughters, Laurie Whittum (George) of Whitefield, New Hampshire, Beverly Melven of Seattle, and Susan Nelson of Hungry Horse. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Carl Camp, Suzanna (James) Ploss, and Renae and Kalob Nelson; and one great-granddaughter, Serenity Ploss.

A service in memory of Linda Melven will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls.

Donations to help defray funeral expenses and install a bench at Woodland Park in Kalispell in Linda’s name can be made to the family.

Columbia Mortuary is caring for the family.

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