Cancer Claims Marie Walls

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Marie Walls was given three to four months to live.

She lasted only two.

Wednesday evening at Payson Care Center, Walls succumbed to the colorectal cancer that was diagnosed May 28.

"She died just as a storm was developing," Wall's friend and former boss, Kim Ewaniuk, said. "Her very last breath was at the first crack of thunder. There's not much that I won't miss about Marie."

Walls, 46, was the much-loved Burger King employee who was diagnosed with rectal cancer May 28. She was told then that the disease had already spread throughout her body, and that nothing could be done.

"She was very strong, very stoic," Walls' physician, Dr. Gary Cornette, said. "She just waited too late to get evaluated. By the first time I saw her, the disease had reached her liver and lungs. There's nothing you can do at that point. You cannot ignore rectal bleeding. You just can't."

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Walls and her husband of 31 years, Ted, came to Payson in 1990. Prior to her employment at Burger King, Walls worked behind the drive-up window at Wendy's for five years as Ted operated his own local business, Precision Golf.

"Marie's family wishes to extend our eternal gratitude to all of the wonderful people who helped Marie and all of us through this," Walls' mother, Mary Gioia of Long Island, New York, said. "We'd like to especially thank all of the caring people from Burger King, RTA Hospice and Palliative Care, the Payson Care Center, and all of the generous donors."

Walls is survived by her mother, husband Ted, and son Daniel Walls of North Carolina.

No formal memorial service is planned. However, local Burger King employees will gather for their own celebration of Walls' life at the restaurant, 301 S. Beeline Highway, this Sunday at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

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