Murriel Elizabeth “Merle” (Prock) Walters was born on November 11, 1921, in Competition, Missouri. God called her home on October 7, 2018, after a brief illness from pneumonia at the age of 96. She was the third of James and Bertha Prock’s six children. She attended and graduated from schools in that area.
Merle married Nevel Austin of Missouri. They lived in Missouri, Idaho, California and Oregon before he was killed in a work-related accident in Milton-Freewater. During WWI while they were living in San Diego, she worked at Consolidated, an airplane company from 1944-1945. She worked as a “Rosie the Riveter” in building the PB4Y-2 Privateer aircraft in the factory there.
She was living in Walla Walla, Washington, and working at the Stateline Store in Milton-Freewater when she was introduced to the employers’ nephew, Kenneth Walters. They married on February 15, 1948, at Walla Walla and farmed in the area for several years. Their son Donald was born in 1949.
They purchased a farm outside Arlington and moved there in 1956. They resided on the farm until shortly before her husband’s death in 2002 when she moved into Arlington. Merle was an active member of the Arlington United Methodist Church and remained so into her 90s. During those years, she was also generous, volunteering of her time with the Senior Meal Site. She and her husband served as EMTs with the Arlington Volunteer Ambulance during the 1970s.
As a devoted mother and homemaker, Murriel kept busy with large gardens, reading and listening to music. She could not tolerate weeds, and in her 80s she was often seen with her hoe attacking them along the highway and in front of her home. Visitors were always welcome in her home, spending many pleasurable hours in the company of her family and friends. In 2016 she moved to Flagstone Assisted Living in The Dalles, Oregon, where she spent her last years making new friends and enjoying her favorite pastime, being taken for rides frequently on the Flagstone’s bus. If there is a bus in heaven, she’ll be in the front row seat.
She is survived by her son Donald and wife Sherry of Arlington, grandchildren Sandy Walters and Trent Walters of Arlington, great-grandchildren Finnegan Walters, Tyler and McKenzie Bufton, and brother Garland Prock of Missouri. She was affectionately regarded as GG by extended family. She was preceded in death by her husbands, her parents, sister Lois Ward, brothers Stanley, Howard and Lowell Prock, and nephew Eldon Prock.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, October 15, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at the Arlington Methodist Church, Arlington, Oregon. Burial will follow at the Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Merle’s memory to the Arlington United Methodist Church or a charity of your choice.
Sweeney Mortuary of Condon, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.