WALDEN ORIN GURNEY

Obituary
  • "Marilyn. Love and prayers to you and your family. Wally was..."
    - Myrna Harker
  • "Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. I have..."
    - Jan Roberts ( Whiting)
  • "Dear Gurney family. My thoughts and prayers are with you..."
    - Mary Spinner
  • "I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It is sad when we have..."
    - Lisa Bjornberg
  • "You were such a great principal always helped us out no..."
    - Jessie ramos

1942-2015

Hillcrest Memorial Center

On July 20, 2015 our Heavenly Father took our husband, our father, our grandfather, our brother, our teacher, and our friend back into His presence to live with Him again. Wally left this mortal existence to be reunited with his parents, Waldon and Rose, his brothers, Bryant (Roberta) and Wayne (Marilyn), and his daughter Gaylynn (Ron). He is survived by his cherished wife and eternal companion Marilyn, his sons Lance and Kevin, his daughter Heather, his brother Brice (Linda) and sister Doreen. He is also survived by grandchildren Shae, Jeni, Mattie, Nathan, McKay, Hayden, Savanna, Cooper, Morgan, Nicole (Thayne), Brittany, Kaylee, Kyle, Parker, and a great-granddaughter, Joslyn.

Walden Orin Gurney was born October 28, 1942 in Magrath, Alberta, Canada. He was the oldest of five children born to Waldon Orin and Rose Alvira Holladay Gurney. He spent his early life helping with farm work and with the huge garden his parents grew every year. He had fond memories of his grandparents and of all the fun he had fishing, swimming, and playing with his brothers and many friends.

After completing school in Magrath he attended Ricks College where he met the love of his life. He was married and sealed to Marilyn Williams for time and all eternity on August 21, 1963 in the Cardston, Alberta Temple. Wally completed a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physical Education and Biological Science and a Master's degree in Physical Education at BYU. He later completed an Education Specialist (EDS) degree at the University of Utah.

In his youth, Wally had teachers who inspired him and created his desire to do the same. He always knew he wanted to teach. He began his educational career at Dugway Proving Grounds in Tooele County, Utah where he was the biology teacher and basketball coach. Marilyn and Wally arrived at Dugway so proud of their first baby son, Lance. During the next 7 years, they added three more children, Gaylynn, Kevin, and Heather. Wally quickly realized it was hard to support a family on a teacher's salary, so he went to school during summers to get qualified to be an administrator. After teaching 7 years at Dugway, he served as principal of Wendover K-12, Dugway High School, and Grantsville High School - all in Tooele County. He then served as Superintendent of Tooele County Schools. It was while in Grantsville that Wally served as the Grantsville 6th Ward Bishop.

In 1987 Wally, Marilyn, Kevin, and Heather moved to Blackfoot, Idaho where Wally served as principal of Blackfoot High School, Assistant Superintendent, and principal of Mountain View Middle School. In 2003, after 37 years, Wally decided it was time to retire from education. He continued to look for opportunities to teach and influence young people to be all that they could be. Wally's true calling in life was that of Teacher. Whether it was school, church, or life, Wally was an incredible teacher. Wally had a knack for working with youth and he always had their interest at heart - whether it was educating them, thumping on them, counseling them, or watching them excel at their activities. He was always there for the youth of this world.

Wally also loved the outdoors, especially fishing with his sons when he could. He always loved sports and was a star on his high school basketball team. He idolized his coach, Tommy Karren, who was a man of great integrity. Wally and Marilyn encouraged their children all through the years in any sport they chose. Wally supported his grandchildren in sports by attending games in all weather conditions, driving them to games, and helping them with extra practice. Wally and Marilyn wanted to live close to all their grandchildren, so when their daughter and husband who were in Blackfoot decided to move to the Tri-Cities in 2011, it was time for them to move to Kennewick where three out of four families would be. They have loved having so much of their family nearby and being able to attend grandchildren's activities.

Wally will be greatly missed by his family and many friends and youth. We find peace in our knowledge that we will be together with him again.

Viewing: Fri. July 24, 5:00-8:00 pm, Hillcrest Memorial Center, 9353 W Clearwater Ave, Kennewick

Funeral: Sat. July 25 at 11:00 am. Viewing 1 hour prior, LDS Chapel, 8120 W 4th Ave, Kennewick

Interment: Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 1401 S. Union St, Kennewick.

For online condolences please visit www.AskHillcrest.com







Funeral Home
Hillcrest Memorial Center:
9353 W. Clearwater Ave.
Kennewick, WA 99336
509-737-9717
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Published in Tri-City Herald on July 23, 2015