MISSOULA — Mercy Whalen Clevenger was born March 6, 1962, in Red Lodge, to John and Helen Whalen. She was the youngest of five siblings to Chris, Teresa, Damian and Lisa. By 1963, John and Helen had settled in Missoula, where they would remain for the next five decades. Mercy attended grade school and high school in Missoula, followed by college at the University of Montana. She continued her education in nursing and earned her LPN through the Missoula Vo-tech and her RN through Regents College of New York.
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Mercy and Hal were married in June of 1986. In 1987, they had their first daughter, Claire, followed by Molly the next year. One of Mercy’s greatest joys was being a mother. She volunteered for school and extracurricular activities, shuttled the girls to countless practices, competitions, choir and band concerts, and always showed up to cheer them on. Mercy’s love for the arts and music encouraged creativity and a passion for academics in her children. Having sewn nearly every single Halloween costume for the girls in their childhood, and several formal dresses as well, Mercy instilled the value of making things for yourself in the girls, as her mother had taught her well. She also taught the girls to appreciate excellent cooking and always made sure they were well fed.
Mercy, Hal, Claire and Molly spent warmer days with family on Elbow or Flathead Lake, as well as camping all over the Northwest when the girls were growing up. After the girls were grown, Mercy and Hal often made time to travel to Hawaii, and spent weekends at their cozy cabin on Georgetown Lake. Mercy had a love for games of all sorts. She played softball and golf for several years, and more recently became quite the pool shark.
Mercy approached life with open arms and an open heart. Having committed over 30 years of her life to nursing, primarily in dialysis, it was her passion to care for others. She shed light on those around her, and enriched the lives of countless patients and colleagues during her career as a nurse in Missoula. She will be remembered for her vibrant energy, enthusiastic laugh, and her openness and generosity to all who crossed her path.
Mercy was preceded in death by her parents, John and Helen Whalen. She is survived by her husband, Hal Clevenger; her daughters Claire Clevenger and Molly Russell (Daniel); her four siblings, Christian (Aida Labto), Teresa Francis (David), Damian, Lisa Clark (James); her six nieces and nephews, Sean, Nicholas, Connor and Morgan Whalen, Camden Francis and Johanna Clark; and one great-nephew, Isaac Whalen.
Please join us in celebrating the life of Mercy Whalen Clevenger on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. at The Eagles Lodge, 2420 South Ave. W., Missoula, MT 59801. Donations in Mercy’s name can be made to Partnership Health Center or the Poverello Center.