Cover photo for Carole Ann Schmalz (Hale)'s Obituary
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1941 Carole 2023

Carole Ann Schmalz (Hale)

March 27, 1941 — August 23, 2023

Carole Ann (Hale) Schmalz departed this world on August 23, 2023. She was born on March 27, 1941, to Don L. Hale and Erma L. (Bronaugh) Hale. In her mother’s words, “She was so cute with lots of dark hair…We were so proud of Carole that we even had ‘discussions’ about who got to carry her…”

They were a very happy family and soon added a sister, Francie, with whom she would share a room and a full and busy life. Carole was involved in Girl Scouts, band, swimming, plays and Rainbow Girls. As a family they went camping a lot, spent weekends waterskiing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter.  They also frequently traveled to Kansas to see family and Carole was especially close to her cousin Bonnie.  She graduated from Montrose High School in 1959.

That same year she met and married Albert Schmalz. She was actually dating his cousin, but Al stole her away! They would go on to have 4 children: Cindy, Don, Steve and Brian. The family traditions of camping, waterskiing, snowmobiling and enjoying each other’s company were always a high priority.

Carole loved to sew and, in fact, continued to make clothing all the way thru multiple grandchildren. She also enjoyed many craft projects and almost always had a project going.  We all have received many hand-made items over the years. She also gardened and painted oil paintings. She kept an immaculate house as her mother before her. She was close to her mother and cared for her for many years after the loss of her father in 1990.

During the years of raising her young family, she also worked outside of the home.  Most of those years she worked in the Montrose School system libraries as an aide for almost 24 years. She retired in 1997. She loved that work and continued to shush people even at the most recent care home.

Carole has many lifelong friends who will especially mourn her passing. Many of them she grew up with. The friends went often to plays, craft shows, movies, lunches, open houses, and many get togethers. She cherished them all. As couples, they would go out to dinner and then back to the house for cards, dominos and other games. She liked to organize gatherings and celebrations. One of her very favorite things was using her computer to make cards for everyone she knew. And she loved her pets!

She was proud of being a Colorado native and she spent most of her adult life in Montrose in the home she and Al had built. They spent a lot of time making the home into a place they loved.  She was especially happy with her screened-in patio. They truly valued family and friends and visited them as much as they could.  Camping together was also a favorite activity. Sadly, after over 52 years of marriage, she lost Al to lung cancer in 2012. She would struggle on, but life never would be the same.

Eventually, it became apparent that she could no longer live on her own. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2020 where her 3 sons and their families could be near. She adored seeing her great grandchildren and always had the biggest smiles for them. The long goodbye and watching her lose her memories was sometimes hard but there were still many moments of joy. She was especially pleased when her ‘second sister’ Millie visited her recently. Her family is grateful for the extended time we had with her.

Carole was preceded in death by her beloved parents and her sweetheart Albert. She was blessed in not remembering losing her mother in 2020 at the age of 101.  She is survived by her sister Francie (Gary Barnes) and their 2 girls. Her children grew up strong, independent and loving people, the product of a wonderful set of parents.  Her children are Cindy (Pat Wigley) with 3 children and 4 grandchildren, Don (Caroline Coup) with 1 child and 2 grandchildren, Steve (Bobbie Hueser) with 3 children and 2 grandchildren, and Brian (Alisha Bristol) with 4 children.

A visitation for family and friends will be Thursday August 31, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Crippin Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Friday September 1, 2023, at 10:00 am at Crippin Funeral Home, the service will conclude at the chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carole Ann Schmalz (Hale), please visit our flower store.

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