BEMIDJI, Minn. — “Welcome home my good and faithful servant” were the words Mahlon Waller heard early in the morning of March 15, 2013. He ran boldly and upright through the pearly gates of heaven about the time of day the fish would start to bite on the Bowstring River. He was carried by legs that were strong and healthy, with no battle scars or wounds, no need for glasses or hearing aids, breathing deeply the fresh air of heaven. With no more pain and suffering, he entered heaven with a great big smile.
A celebration of Waller’s and a sharing time are 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Dora Lake Alliance Church. The funeral is 2 p.m. Friday, March 22, at the Tenstrike Community Church. A burial will be held in the spring at the Kinghurst Cemetery near Dora Lake under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.
Mahlon Waller was born on Nov. 20, 1924, in Dora Lake, Minn., to Wesley and Julia Waller, the third of their five children. He attended the one-room Dora Lake school for eight years and then went to high school in Grand Rapids, graduating in 1942. Mahlon enlisted in the Army in June 1943. He was planning to go to officer’s school, but the program was closed because of the need for infantry in the European theater during World War II. After surviving numerous close calls on the front lines, he was severely injured in both legs by shrapnel on Dec. 24, 1944. For the next two years, he would endure countless surgeries and procedures until his release from the hospital Dec. 24, 1946.
During those days in the hospital, Mahlon began corresponding with a beautiful young girl from his home area, Ramona Olson. They were married in June 1947 and were blessed with three children. Mahlon taught high school math for nearly 30 years in Bigfork, Hallock and Stillwater, until he retired in 1980. He then taught two more years at Northwestern Bible College in St. Paul.
Mahlon and Mona would spend their retirement years back on the shores of their beloved Dora Lake. Mahlon was an immediate friend to everyone he met. He had a kind and gentle spirit and was an active outdoorsman enjoying the many years of deer hunting with the Talberg gang and fishing with his friends and family. Most of all, Mahlon was known for his strong Christian faith and God used his loving concern for the spiritual welfare of others to lead many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Mahlon is survived by his loving wife of nearly 66 years, Ramona of Bemidji, and his two sons Timothy of Hines, Minn., and Mark (Beth) of Park Rapids, Minn. His daughter, Rebecca (Jerry Taylor), passed away in 2010. He was also deeply loved by his seven grandchildren, Erica (Jonny) Silva, Benjamin, Andy, Keri, Chris, Caleb, and Josh (Tina) Waller and five great-grandchildren. One brother, Brad (Jean) Waller of Carlton, Minn., and one sister Skip Halverson of Billings, Mont. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Merle “Cork” and Kearney.
Mahlon was an active member of the local Gideon camp. Memorials will be given to the Gideons International, which provides Bibles in many countries around the world.