Maria Paulina Wallimann (Marieli) passed away peacefully on January 11, 2021 at the age of 92 in Denver, Colorado surrounded by her family. Maria fought the battle, but she succumbed to both cancer and COVID after a short illness.
Maria was born on April 6, 1928 in Ruppen, Switzerland to Ulrich and Maria Rohner-Eugster. She was one of eight children raised in a small farmhouse in Switzerland. In 1957, Maria traveled to the United States and then Stockholm, Sweden to work in the hotel industry. She met Henri Ernest Wallimann and they were married in September of 1958. Maria and Henri had their first child, Brigitte, while still in Sweden. The three traveled to Switzerland for a short stay before heading to the United States. Maria and Henri lived in the Stapleton area for a short time while working for Leo and Trudy Gschwend at Chef Leo’s. They then moved to the Littleton area. Maria and Henri had two more children, Michelle and Rene.
Maria loved to spend time with family and friends at the Chalet in Empire, Colorado. Many happy memories were made there, and her children and grandchildren continue to make new memories there today. She learned to ski when she was sixty years old. Maria also enjoyed volunteering her time at Children Hospital of Denver in the gift shop and other areas of the hospital. She loved to travel, visiting Switzerland dozens of times to visit family and for vacation. Maria was an avid “Jass” player. Her children were always amazed at how she could keep accurate score in her head, most times more quickly than a calculator.
Maria and Henri purchased the restaurant from Leo and Trudy and Chef Henri’s Delicatessen was formed. Maria worked tirelessly building the business with Henri, both running the restaurant and catering to many entities. All three children worked beside them and had the opportunity to meet many wonderful families. Most notably, Chef Henri’s had the privilege of catering Sunday morning breakfast for the Denver Broncos for several years. Maria and Henri retired from the business in 1984.
Maria is survived by their three children Brigitte (Donny) Gustafson, Michelle (Howard) Thomas and Rene (Melissa) Wallimann. Grandchildren Dallas (Stacey) Gustafson, Dustin(Jennifer) Gustafson, Amber (Josh) Hanson, Colin (Jenny) Thomas, David (Cassie) Thomas, and Meghan Thomas. Great grandchildren Khylin Gustafson, Korbin Hanson and Bristol Thomas. She was preceded in death by her husband Henri, her parents and four of her brothers and sisters.
Memorial services will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church Catholic Church at 2375 East Arizona Ave Denver, Colorado on January 18, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation 950 E. Harvard Ave. Suite 230 Denver Colorado 80210 or RMAHF@centura.org
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