Nov. 15, 2005
ST. MARIES, Idaho -- - Janice Walden, wife of long-time Washington State University head football coach Jim Walden, died here Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 67 years old and died at the Benewah Community Hospital.
The Waldens were married during Easter Vacation in 1960 while both were seniors at the University of Wyoming. They had met two years earlier while Cowboy students. The Waldens have two daughters, Lisa (born 1961) and Emily (1965) and one son Murray (1967).
Jim and Janice took up full-time residence in Harrison, Idaho, last summer, moving from Ames, Iowa, where they lived following Jim's tenure at Iowa State. Harrison is located on the southern shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Jim Walden joined the WSU football staff of Warren Powers in 1977 and a year later was named the head coach when Powers left to take the same position at Missouri. During his tenure at WSU, 1978-1986, Walden guided the Cougars to their first bowl appearance since 1931 when his club finished the regular season 8-2-1 and earned a berth in the 1981 Holiday Bowl in San Diego. In the bowl game WSU lost a shoot-out with Brigham Young 38-36.
In nine years as WSU's head coach Walden was 44-52-4. He left at the end of the 1986 season when he was named head coach at Iowa State.
Jim Walden returned to the WSU football scene in the fall of 2001 when he joined veteran play-by-play announcer Bob Robertson, serving as the commentator on WSU football broadcasts.
Funeral services will be held Friday, 11 a.m., at the Manito Presbyterian Church, 401 E. 30th, Spokane, with a reception to follow at the downtown Spokane Doubletree Hotel.
The Walden family has asked donations, in leu of flowers, may be sent to the Mark Rypien Foundation, 926 W. Sprague, Suite 580, Spokane, WA 99201 (phone 509-747-2424). In addition a viewing will be held Thursday evening, 6-8 p.m. at the Heritage Funeral Home on North Government Way in Spokane.