Carol Jean Schlauch, 83, passed away on June 17, 2022, in Missoula, MT with her family by her side while courageously battling cancer.
Carol Jean Allen was born December 8, 1938, in Deadwood, SD, the only daughter of Cyril and Esther Allen. The family moved to Glendive, MT in her early years, and she graduated from Dawson County High School in 1957 where she excelled academically and was known for her style, grace, and close friendships. She was a member of the Dawson County High School Marching Band and a master baton twirler. Dawson High was also where she met the love of her life, Edward Schlauch.
On June 25, 1960, Carol married that high school sweetheart in Glendive MT and her and Ed began their life together that led to over 60 years of loving marriage, family, and adventure. While in Glendive, Carol started working for Mountain Bell telephone where she continued to work after moving to Bozeman with Ed, supporting the couple until Ed’s graduation from Montana State University and the birth of their first son, Michael in July of 1961. This would be the start of Carol’s family, her pride and joy. Over the next 14 years Carol and Ed had three more children, Lisa, Jeff, and Brian.
Following their time in Bozeman and after the birth of Carol’s daughter Lisa, Carol and Ed moved to Great Falls while Ed worked for Pacific Hide & Fur and Northwest Steel. This was also the birthplace of their second son Jeffrey in 1970. In the fall of 1971, the family moved to Missoula, MT and started Grizzly Fence Company in 1972 and Carol’s last child, son Brian, was born in 1975. Over the years, Carol worked and served at John XXIII parish, started a successful business (Bridal Traditions), and worked at Circo Manufacturing until her partial retirement in 2001. Shortly after selling Grizzly Fence in 2006, she and Ed fully retired and began spending more time motor homing and heading south for the winter. They ultimately landed in Desert Center, CA where they enjoyed many years of playing golf and spending time with great friends and meeting new ones, prior to returning home to Missoula permanently in 2016.
There was not a day that went by that Carol’s family wasn’t on her mind and a priority in her life. Raising four kids spanning 14 years, supporting her husband and their businesses, and actively involved in the lives of her grandkids and great grandkids, Carol never missed a beat. While the kids were still at home, meals were always prepared, chores were done, and the home was immaculate. She was engaged in the lives of her family and truly cared about what they were doing…and when they would be home. She would not go to sleep until she knew that all her kids were home safe, something many of them tested her on over the years. As her kids grew up, got married, and moved on to start families of their own, she never stopped her diligence of greeting and saying goodbye with a smile, hug, and a kiss. Her phone calls to check in on her kids and their families were like clockwork. She wanted to know what everyone was up to, and how they were doing…and when she would get to see them again. Her kindness, huge heart, big blue eyes, and beautiful smile was welcoming and accepting. She never missed a birthday or anniversary with a heartfelt card delivered perfectly on time. No matter what her family or friends were doing, she was present and engaging. She loved to just spend time with all of them and it was no secret that her family was her biggest joy. The family pets were a close second. They loved her just as much as she loved them, and she was always willing to babysit and hand out plenty of treats.
Carol had a quiet, but evident faith. She loved God and was a follower of Jesus. She served in several capacities over the years, and her faith was evident in how she lived her life. Her example of forgiveness, unconditional love, and compassion were passed on subtly, but effectively into the lives of her family by how she lived hers. Her servant's heart shined in compassion, acceptance, and humbleness. In Ed’s later years, as his health began to decline prior to his passing, she dedicated her life to taking care of him. She never complained or lost hope but persevered even though she was fighting her own battle with cancer.
Carol was so loving, so strong, so dedicated, and so beautiful until the very last breath. She will be greatly missed, remembered so often, and her legacy of how she lived and loved will carry on through everything she taught and how she raised her family.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband Edward Schlauch, parents Cyril and Esther Allen, and brother David Allen.
She is survived by her children Mike (Tracy), Lisa (Rod) Sharkey, Jeff (Kelley), Brian (Cari), her grandchildren Amanda (Tucker) Johnson, Samantha Tewson, Nicole, Andrew, Jordan, Kade, Saylor, Jaxsen; and her great grandchildren Samuel, Harper, Schyler, Essa, and Liam and her sister-in law Norma Allen.
Services will be held Friday, July 8th at 12:30 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church - Missoula, MT. Reception to follow at Garden City Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in honor of Carol to the National Breast Cancer Foundation or the Humane Society.