Born in Great Falls, Vernon Louis Waldenberg had a lifelong love of the outdoors – camping, riding horses, floating rivers and spending time at the family cabins in Montana.
He met his wife, Joanne, when they were students at Central Catholic High School in Great Falls. They were married in 1952, and celebrated their 68th anniversary in December. Family was the center of their lives – they raised nine children and had 25 grandchildren.
Vern worked in the Great Falls plumbing business founded by his father, Central Plumbing and Heating, which is now operated by his sons. “His wisdom, inventiveness, and caring for others had him putting seatbelts in our Rambler in the ’60s before they were commonly installed in cars,” his obituary said. “He was ahead of his time, always willing to learn from others and frequently sharing his latest self-help read with his kids.”
Vern and Joanne moved to Spokane 20 years ago, and helped their daughter, Carol, raise two girls she adopted from China, going to soccer games and ferrying Sophia and Olivia to ballet classes and ski races. He was an exceptional grandfather.
He died Jan. 5 at age 86.
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