Carolyn Smith Straub
Carolyn Smith Straub passed peacefully, filled with the love of her husband, Delbert “Del” Straub, and her family, on Aug. 19, 2012, in Helena, Mont.
Carolyn was born Jan. 20, 1941 in Charlotte, N.C., to Lafayette Carl Smith and Carolyn Lucille Dollason. She was the only child and the family eventually moved to Birmingham, Ala., where she met her high school sweetheart, Del, as a teenager at Ramsey High School. The two dated for a year and then were married in Birmingham, Ala., in 1959. Carolyn attended Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!) for two years.
Carolyn worked and enjoyed many professions, including the director of skiing for the U.S. Armed Forces in Neu Ulm and southern Germany; a ski school instructor at Bridger Bowl for over 10 years; sales and marketing for Macy’s in Helena.
Carolyn loved her time on Sanibel. She was the founder of the famous The Bean of Sanibel coffee and cafe. She was voted the best barista on the Island and was always found with a smile at the counter.
When not at The Bean of Sanibel she enjoyed long walks and bike rides along the beach and evenings on the town with her friends, especially those friends who live on Dixie Beach Boulevard, but shall otherwise remain unidentified.
She excelled in every job she had, but she poured her heart and soul into her job as the Youth Minister for the Bozeman United Methodist Church and Executive Program Director for the Yellowstone Conference of the United Methodist Church. From “Singing in the Rain” at Flathead and Luccock Park Church Camps to “chubby bunny” contests to cross-country road trips, Carolyn’s indomitable spirit lives on in generations of friends, family, and co-workers.
In the fall of 2003 Carolyn felt compelled to go to Kabul, Afghanistan, with a good friend to see what she could do to help. They found a day school and orphanage that desperately needed financial support to help the youth living on the streets of Kabul and orphans. She and Elinoir Edmonds established Friends of Aschiana and worked tirelessly to support those children and youth. Recently they have completed the first bi-lingual alphabet learning book in English and Dari with all the proceeds to benefit Friends of Aschiana.
Carolyn enjoyed many adventures throughout her life traveling and living abroad, however she would say her best adventure was being a mom and grandmother. She enjoyed the outdoors; skiing, hiking and watching soccer games. Her favorite places to enjoy with her grandchildren included Yellowstone Park, Sanibel-Captiva Island, Maui, Flathead Lake United Methodist Church Camp and her home at the Alcapat up St. Louis Gulch.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Carolyn Lucille Dollason and L. Carl Smith. She is survived by her three sons, Alton Straub his wife Jennifer Devoe (Portland, Ore.); Carl Straub and his wife Cathryn English-Straub (Helena); and Patrick Straub and his wife Brandy Moses Straub (Bozeman). She had five grandchildren; Carly and Bennett (Bucky) (Portand, Ore.); Jordan and Carsten (Helena) and Adela (Bozeman).
The family would like to thank the entire staff at the Cancer Center at St. Peters Hospital. They provided excellent care to her for the last nine years. Carolyn felt so positive about the care at St. Peters that she lobbied and supported an effort to build a new cancer center at St. Peters Hospital.
Memorials in Carolyn’s name can be sent to any of the following: Florence Crittenton Home, Flathead Lake United Methodist Church Camp and Friends of Aschiana P.O. 392 East Helena, MT 59635.