Arlene Murdoch

Arlene Christensen Murdoch

October 13, 1947 – October 7, 2020

Arlene Christensen Murdoch was the mother, wife, sister, aunt, nurturer, dance partner, skillful beheader of venomous snakes that everyone wishes they had for themselves. Born in Great Falls, Montana, on October 13, 1947, Arlene was the oldest of five children to Lloyd Christensen and Bernice Fluegel.

She met her eventual soulmate of 47 years, Steven Murdoch, while working at Hoglund's Western Wear in Great Falls, Montana. She reportedly sold him some Tony Lama boots and Wrangler Jeans, and eventually gave him her heart. They were married on March 13, 1968. Family came shortly thereafter. Their first son, Wallace, was born in Great Falls; Adam joined four years later when the family was living in Oroville, Washington.

Arlene loved the crafts, proudly hand-stitching countless quilts for friends and relatives, dabbling in watercolor and oil painting, and launching her home business making baskets. She somehow found the time to earn a respiratory therapy degree and enjoyed a 30-year career at the Deaconess Hospital (Benefis), in Great Falls.

Arlene is survived by her two sons, Wallace, of Santa Monica, California, and Adam and son-in-law, Chris Bateman of Portland, Oregon. She is also survived by her sisters, Loydene Stillman from Bluffdale, Utah; Marlys Wood of Southport, Florida; Ione of Land O Lakes, Florida; and brother Gary Christensen of Ogden, Utah.

An online memorial will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2020. All are welcome.

Visit for more information. In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family hopes you'll donate to a few of Arlene's favorite causes in her memory. Please donate to Montana Project Hope or your local Habitat for Humanity.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Corvallis Gazette-Times on Oct. 18, 2020.
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My wife Jacquie and I were neighbors with Arlene and Steve in Great Falls, MT from 2000-2005. We lived directly behind and downslope from them in the West Hill neighborhood that was tucked into the hillside just below the Great Falls International Airport. It was a small, magically quaint neighborhood, sitting all by itself and overlooking the town and the plains surrounding it. The Murdochs were wonderful neighbors - very kind and thoughtful, and they spoke glowingly and proudly of their sons. I had gotten to know Arlene a bit by virtue of the fact I did some pharmaceutical work at the hospital and doctors where she worked, so we had that extra connection. She and Steve sort of adopted us. Jacquie and I are now divorced but fortunately remain on excellent terms. One of the things we still smile about is the evening one Thanksgiving weekend when Arlene and Steve invited us up to their home to share some leftovers. Arlene made these delicious turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwiches on this really tasty multigrain bread. I started eating them and she just kept on producing them. I ended up eating 5 of these culinary beauties, astounding Steve, Arlene, and Jacquie! Actually, Jacquie may have been horrified because she was afraid the Murdochs would think she was starving me (she wasn't). Anyway, we should also thus add "skilled chef" to the list of Arlene's accomplishments. It is so sad to know she and Steve have now passed. My sincere condolences and love to their family.
Jay Tischendorf
December 6, 2020