January 8, 1965 - March 3, 2020 It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Paige Rudis Marken. Paige passed away March 3rd, 2020, at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Washington. By her side were her loving daughters Allison, Catherine and her husband Michael. Over the course of the last 22 months, Paige waged a courageous battle against cancer. Through it all she maintained her ever-optimistic outlook and joyful demeanor. Paige was born on January 8th, 1965, in Olympia, Washington to Paul Rudis and Nancy Ballard. Paige graduated from Timberline High School in 1983. In pursuit of her teaching degree, Paige attended Fort Steilacoom Community College, followed by Western Washington University. While there, she met her husband and fellow WWU graduate Michael Marken. Paige graduated from WWU in 1987. Paige did such an outstanding job as a student teacher with the Arlington School District, that upon graduation she immediately accepted their offer of a first grade teaching position at Presidents Elementary School. After teaching there for several years, she moved to the newly constructed Eagle Creek Elementary, where she taught third grade. Paige and Michael then moved to Lacey, Washington, where Michael began his career with the Washington State Patrol and Paige continued her teaching career with the North Thurston School District at Lydia Hawk Elementary. After teaching there for several years, Paige moved to Horizons Elementary. While at Horizons, Paige began working on her Masters Degree. Her commitment to the teaching profession and her continued education was such that she even took a test on her wedding day. Paige and Michael moved to Puyallup after his graduation from the Washington State Patrol Academy. While in Puyallup, Michael and Paige welcomed their two beautiful daughters Allison and Catherine into their family. After their arrival, Paige took a leave of absence from teaching so that she could devote all her energies to raising the girls. Upon Michael's promotion to Sergeant, the family moved to Mount Vernon. While Allison and Catherine attended Little Mountain Elementary, Paige was an active member of the parent group, orchestrating many fundraisers and school events. Paige resumed her teaching career at Little Mountain Elementary. While there, she taught, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade. Prior to her passing, Paige was a member of the second grade team at Little Mountain. Paige loved teaching and making a positive impact on her students and their families. Paige was committed to providing her fellow educators and students with the facilities needed to create a nurturing learning environment. As such she was an active participant in the Citizens for Mount Vernon Schools. As a member of this group, she chaired a successful levy campaign. In her leisure time, Paige enjoyed gardening and working in her yard. Camping trips with family and friends to Lake Pearrygin were also a favorite. Once Allison (WSU) and Catherine (ASU) entered college, Paige made many trips to Pullman and Tempe to support the girls. Paige was especially proud of passing along her life-long love of books and reading to Allison and Catherine. Throughout her treatment, Paige benefited from the outstanding care provided by the medical professionals working in the Skagit Valley. Her surgeon, Dr. Kevwich, oncologist, Dr. Jafari and critical care specialist, Dr. M. Liang all provided her with top notch care. They were all deeply impressed with her spirit and positivity. Paige is survived by her husband Michael, daughters Allison and Catherine, her mother Nancy Ballard, all of Mount Vernon, Washington and her brother Paul (Cheryl) Rudis of Kennewick, Washington. In memory of Paige, please consider contributing to the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation (214 South 12th Street Mount Vernon, Washington 98273). A gathering to celebrate Paige is scheduled for May 16th, 2020, at Maplehurst Farm in Mount Vernon, from 12:00-4:00pm. Maplehurst Farm, 18495 Dike Road, Mount Vernon, Washington 98273.
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