July 11, 1939-June 15, 2018
After a year and a half of health struggles, Carol A. (McDonald) Lubke died Friday, evening, June 15, with her sons and daughter-in-law at her side. She never lost her will to live or her fight, she simply grew tired.
Carol was born on July 11, 1939, in Anaconda to Fred and Eileen (Quigley) McDonald. She attended St. Paul School and graduated from Anaconda Central in 1957.
From there, she went on to receive her diploma in nursing from St. James School of Nursing in Butte, followed soon after by her nursing degree from Carroll College. She also received numerous post-bachelor credits.
In 1966, she married Robert (Bob) Lubke, also of Anaconda. Though they would later divorce, they remained in contact and continued to take care of each other until Bob’s death in 1994. Their marriage produced sons, Rob and Ron.
Fittingly, Carol began her nursing career in pediatrics and, after caring for many elderly relatives, ended it working nearly 30 years in geriatrics. At various times, she was director of nursing at Hillside Manor, The Village Health Care Center and the former Wayside Manor in Missoula. She also held similar positions in Kalispell, Ronan and Butte. Eventually, she consulted for long-term care throughout Montana and other western states. Though she sometimes said she never really wanted to be a nurse when she was young, she excelled at helping people at difficult times of their life and making them more comfortable.
Before beginning her career in geriatrics, she spent many happy years as a nursing instructor at St. Patrick School of Nursing until its closure. Still teaching when white dresses and caps were the norm, she taught many a young nurse about the importance of donning perfectly polished shoes. If you pay attention to even seemingly insignificant things like how your shoes are shined, she once said, you’ll make a good nurse. She was quick to offer assistance and compliments; her students would say (even though it would cost them a quarter!).
Carol loved being Irish, playing poker machines, following the Griz and having a party. A glass of wine or a cold beer was something to be treasured, but she hated having her feet get hot under her bed covers. Her faith and her family were sources of strength and perseverance for her and we will always remember the examples she set to teach us about empathy, compassion and simple acts of kindness.
Carol is survived by sons, Rob and Ron (Jen) Lubke and grandchildren Bo, Anna and Erin, as well as honorary grandchildren Luna and Harper, all of Missoula; brother, Fred McDonald of Anaconda; sister-in-law, Margaret “Miggs” Lubke of Hamilton; and many much-loved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 21, at Garden City Funeral Home with viewing from 4-6 p.m., and the Nightingale Honor Guard providing a tribute near 5 p.m. The Rosary will follow at 6 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., on Friday June 22, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Missoula with a reception immediately after. Burial will occur in St. Mary’s Cemetery at 2 p.m.
The family would like to thank the nurses, doctors, therapists and staff of St. Patrick Hospital’s emergency department, ICU and Infusion Center and those of 4 North and 5 South for their kindness and professionalism over these many months. Special thanks also go to home caregiver Melissa Carvey, and the teams at Partners in Home Care (especially Jason and Jill), The Village Health Care Center and Dr. Cone’s office.
Memorials are suggested to Partners in Home Care, Missoula Aging Services or a charity of your choice.