Carola Theresa Sirucek

October 12, 1929 ~ June 6, 2021 (age 91)


Passed away on the eve of what would have been her 69th Wedding Anniversary to her beloved husband Edgar, of natural causes, at Expressions Memory Care in Kalispell, Montana. Carola was born on October 12, 1929 in St. Anthony, North Dakota, a small community founded by German Catholics in 1890. Her grandparents Klein and Mann both immigrated there from Illemetz, Austria in 1891. Carola was the fourth of ten children of John and Elizabeth (Klein) Mann. She learned to be a good seamstress and wonderful cook from her mother. Carola and her siblings attended an elementary school in St. Anthony that was run by Ursuline nuns from Austria-Hungary. She graduated from Mandan High School in 1949. Her father believed in education, and was instrumental in her learning to type, which earned her employment in various secretarial positions. At age twenty, Carola took the train from Mandan to Whitefish, MT to spend five days with a girlfriend, who set her up on an eventful blind date. Her date was Edgar Emil Sirucek, a farmer and WWII veteran, and the love of her life. They began a courtship through writing letters and Ed’s many one-day trips from Montana to North Dakota in all kinds of weather. Carola moved to Ronan and worked at Peavey Seed and Grain. She and Ed were married in June of 1952 in Mandan, North Dakota. Carola and Ed spent their married life in northwestern Montana. First, they lived in the St. Ignatius-Ronan area, followed by a short time in Creston. They finally settled in the community of Swan River outside of Bigfork in 1959, where they started and ran the Green Valley Dairy for fourteen years. Ed and Carola later developed the dairy into the Swan River Tree Farm for decades, and eventually turned the land over to their daughter Becky and her husband Bret to create their own business, Green Valley Sod Farm, on the same acreage. Carola and Ed were active in the community of Swan River for fifty-two years. Carola enjoyed ceramics with the Swan River Potters, quilting with the Bigfork Quilters for decades, and was continually active in the CCW of the churches of St. Catherine’s and Saint John Paul II. Gardening was her shared passion with Ed, and the size of their gardens just got bigger as they aged--the family, neighbors, and church friends always benefitted from their sweet corn and zucchini, among other vegetables. No one left Carola’s kitchen hungry--she was always ready with a meal for anyone Ed brought home for lunch, and there were many guests over the years. Carola and Edgar enjoyed sixty-two years together. In their retirement years, they traveled to Alaska, the Dakotas and Arizona. In the winter months, they enjoyed their second home in the Casa Grande, AZ community for many years. Carola and Ed both enjoyed antiquing and collected many treasures in their travels. Carola’s strong Catholic faith carried over in the raising of her family, her generosity of giving, and her continual involvement with her children, Dean, Diane, Rebecca and Rene, her four beloved granddaughters, and two great-grandsons. The family would like to express their appreciation for the care of their Mother to April and her wonderful staff at Expressions Memory Care. Also, to Frontier Hospice for helping us through this journey. A most important Thank you to “Dexter” the four pawed adorable companion who was there for all the years by her side. A Rosary at 10:15 AM will precede the Mass of Christian Burial on Friday June 11th 11:00 AM at Saint John Paul II Catholic Church in Bigfork. A luncheon will be provided following the service in the basement of the church. A private burial will take place at Bigfork Cemetery at a later date.
Carola is survived by her son Dean and wife Lois of Lakeside, MT, Diane Johnson her husband Eric of Bigfork, Montana and Springdale, Utah, Rebecca Hughes and husband Bret of Bigfork, Rene Sock and husband Tom of Kalispell, Montana, granddaughters Breanna Hughes and fiancé Dan Backeberg of Helena, MT, Stephanie Arnlund, husband Alijah, and great-grandsons Aiden and Austin of Bigfork, Maggie Sirucek of Columbia Falls, and Bailey Hughes and fiancé Derrick Williams of Boston, Massachusetts. She is also survived by her sisters Ann Grannan of Marian, Iowa, Mary Kaye Mann of Mandan, North Dakota, and brother James Mann of Waseca, Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Edgar, brothers Raymond, Robert, and Chuck Mann, sisters Isabelle Besserud, Agnes Fowler, and Clara Sorensen. As Carola was never successful in “raising a saint”, in lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to “Raising a Saint Scholarship Foundation” at St. Matthews School, 602 South Main Street Kalispell, MT 59901 (406-752-6788).

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