Carol Frances (Wackler) Walden, age 69, of Grants Pass, OR, formerly of Howard Lake, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass.
She was born April 15, 1940, in Howard Lake, the seventh of 10 children born to Edmond and Frances Wackler. Carol was baptized a few weeks later, May 2, 1940, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Middleville Township.
Carol attended a one-room school for her early education, and worked hard on the family farm. She then transferred to St. James Lutheran School in 1951.
In October 1952, Carol contracted polio and spent two years in the hospital, enduring several back surgeries, painful treatments, and therapy. She returned home June 12, 1954, and through it all, she somehow kept up with her school work, graduating in 1958, at the head of her class.
Concordia College in St. Paul was Carol’s next stop, then on to Concordia Teacher’s College in Seward, NE, where she finished her requirements for a teaching degree. She taught elementary students at parochial schools in Madison, NE, Faribault, and Bloomington, where she also directed the primary choir.
She accepted a position in 1970 at Prince of Peace Lutheran School for the Deaf as a parish worker, where, in Carol’s words, “I did everything there except preach.” She then served for seven years as a fourth grade teacher/choir director at St. Peter’s Catholic School in Forest Lake.
Carol and her husband, Jack, then opened the Logger’s Inn at Big Fork, about 60 miles south of International Falls. In 1981, they moved to Oregon, where they opened a pizza parlor. Tragically, Jack lost his life there, and Carol reinvested in La Pooch Hut, where she boarded and groomed dogs.
Carol married Ernest L. Walden in 1987 in Grants Pass. For 28 years, she was the right arm her husband never had.
Carol was an active and dedicated member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Grants Pass, where she served as Sunday school superintendent.
In addition to her husband, Ernest, Carol is survived by her siblings, Myron Wackler of Missoula, MT, Mavis Scheer of Howard Lake, John Wackler of Ardmore, OK, Harold Wackler of Hayesville, NC, Ila Mae Hengel of New London, MN, James Wackler of Howard Lake, Darlene Newman of Grants Pass, OR, Mike Wackler of Brooklyn Park, MN, and Bob Wackler of Howard Lake.
A memorial service took place Saturday, March 13 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Grants Pass, OR.