Saturday, November 27, 2021

Mary Lou Elise Borden, 87

| July 11, 2021 12:00 AM

Mary Lou Elise Borden, 87, passed away peacefully at her home in Kalispell on June 28, 2021, due to complications from Parkinsonism.

Mary Lou was born Jan. 7, 1934 in Everrett, Washington, the daughter of Charles and Alvida Paice. Being an only child and the apple of her father’s eye brought its benefits, including her own motorcycle with a sidecar, and later her very own car. She loved having these things, but only so she could use them to drive her many friends around. This theme of friendship and generosity carried on strongly through Mary Lou’s life. She graduated from Everrett High in 1952, from there going on to Central Washington Junior College in Ellensburg. Mary Lou worked for Scott Paper Company until August of 1957, when she began a new adventure as the wife to her best friend and former high school classmate Robert “Bob” Borden. The pair moved to Montana in 1965 where they planned to raise their family under the Big Sky. Soon Mary Lou was mother to five children, fulfilling her dream of having a bustling home, in contrast to her own quiet upbringing as an only child. Mary Lou flourished as a mother, creating a loving home that made all feel a part of the family. Her mothering skills were so exceptional she became a mother figure to many neighborhood children, even teaching them to swim during the summer months. She fed hungry mouths and mended tattered clothes. Mary Lou baked homemade cakes daily, and tended a thriving garden to feed all of those she loved.

Mary Lou made countless friends, many of whom she remained friends with all of her life. She was unmatched in her ability to love, to connect and to make others feel welcome. She knew countless jokes, and always had one on hand for any occasion. She was an enthusiastic storyteller with an impeccable memory and a delightful sense of humor.

It was here in God’s Country that Bob and Mary Lou began a real estate business, Kalispell Realty, with enough flexibility in their schedules to eventually spend extended time in the South Pacific, their favorite destination being the Cook Islands. Here, Mary Lou continued her mothering ways, and became an “honorary local” of the Cook Islands, affectionately referred to as AumaLu. “AumaLu” made such an impression she was the namesake for not one, but two boats in the Cook Islands.

Bob and Mary Lou spent many happy years between Montana and the tropical islands of the Cooks, settling on Hawaii as their preferred destination in their later years. Family was always a priority, with their home in Montana being a hub for their children and grandchildren, where there was always plenty of food, and a never ending supply of ice cream cones for the kids, not to mention a karaoke machine. They included family in their travels as well, ultimately buying a condo in Hawaii where they welcomed any and all to stay. Bob and Mary Lou truly lived an adventure together, and created a lasting legacy in their large and loving family.

Mary Lou is survived by her five children, Brad (Shelley), Jeffery (Robin), Stuart (Becky), Mary, and Angela (Jim). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Brooke, Brant, Breanne, Chance, Zachary, Connor, Tyler, Jacob and Jade, along with seven great-grandsons.

She was preceded in death by Bob, her husband of 57 years.

Mary Lou’s celebration of life will be held July 16 at 6 p.m., at 127 Rocky Road, Kalispell. Anyone touched by Mary Lou is welcome to attend.

Mary Lou was emotionally impacted by the current rates of teen suicide and requested anyone wishing to honor her donate to help with suicide prevention. The family suggests that donations go to The Nate Chute Foundation for suicide prevention in Western Montana