Celebrating the life of Carmoleda Giebel
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Carmoleda Giebel was born in Little Rock Arkansas to Horace Greely Holsted and Zona Ann King Holsted on June 14th, 1936. She was the second of 4 children, including three sisters (Willie, Carmie and Barbara) and 1 brother (Benny). She spent her early years in Leslie, Arkansas, located in the Ozark Mountains, with her parents and siblings. They washed clothes and swam in the creek below the house, Rode and took the bus to school in Marshall, Arkansas and played in the woods. Ticks were ever present and occasional snakes. When Hillbilly’s stopped by on the way back up into the mountains, their mom would feed them.
When the children were a little older, Mother Zona left the family, resulting in a move to Mountain View, Oklahoma where their Dad Greely helped Uncle Troy and Aunt Bertha with their farm. Carmoleda helped pick cotton in the summer to make money for school clothes and in her words, got “as dark as an Indian” in spite of wearing a long sleeve shirt. One of her best friends at that time was Francis Goombye, who was Carmie’s age, and they picked cotton together. Carmie regularly spoke about her friendship with Francis throughout the years.
Carmie attended Oklahoma College for women and became a teacher. After graduation, she got a job in Arvada, Colorado at Jefferson County Public Schools, teaching kindergarten. She attended Arvada United Methodist church and especially loved singing in the church choir for many years. She taught Sunday School for a time and joined the bridge club at church. She met Ray Giebel there.
Ray and Carmie dated for about a year, and then Ray proposed. They were married in 1959 and had their first child, daughter Louise in 1960. Ralene, Anna and Eddie followed every two years after that, and Carmie became a ‘stay at home’ mom. She cooked three balanced, healthy meals a day using vegetables from the garden that Ray planted, and meat that Ray hunted or raised in the pasture behind the house. She made whole wheat bread and something for dessert every evening after dinner (Her pies were wonderful!). In the summers she enjoyed tending her flower beds all around the house and yard. When Carmie’s mother Zona passed, her half-sister Emily came to live with the family for a short time.
Carmie did not return to teaching until her youngest, Edmund, was in 4th grade. She worked as a substitute teacher, taught students with English as a second language, helped friends run their restaurant, supported Ray in his activities and occasionally sent care packages and letters to her children in college.
When Ray retired, Carmie moved with him to Musselshell, Montana where she helped maintain their new house and planted flowers in the yard. She joined the Musselshell homemaker’s club, helped raise money for the Melstone pool, Enjoyed meals with the Melstone Senior Citizens program, and ate at the Melstone Cafe’. She made her theater debut as the hospital clerk in the Musselshell play, “It’s Tough to be Rich” by James C Parker in 2004. She was a member and secretary of the Hawk Creek Volunteer Fire Department and adopted Americorp volunteers and cooked meals for them when they came to help with restoration after the 2011 flood.
In her later years, she began to have difficulty remembering and doing complex tasks and it was discovered that she had Alzheimers. Ray supported her to be as independent as possible for as long as he could and finally surrendered to letting Sunflower Gardens Assisted Living care for her. She perpetually thought she was at a family gathering at ‘Daddy’s Cousin’s house’ and seemed happy there. When Ray passed, the family agreed that Carmie would do best at the Sunflower, and she stayed there until her passing on July 3rd, 2023. The family would like to acknowledge The Sunflower for their excellent care.
Carmie is survived by her sister Barbara Thompson, Brother Benny (Ruth) Holsted, and half- sister Emily (Jocko) Eaton,
Four children: Louise Giebel, Ralene Kendall, Anna Giebel, Edmund (Kris) Giebel,
Grandchildren: Nicole (Erik) Fuller, Steven (Alyssa) Needham, Brandon Kendall, Lindsay Dalton, Jesse Giebel, Naatosi (Tiffany) Fish
Great Grandchildren: Liliana, Ella and Allison Fuller; Hazel and Tucker Needham, Saben Dalton.
Donations in Carmie’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at act.alz.org,
Musselshell School Inc. at musselshellschool.com, and Arvada United Methodist Church Legacy Fund at arvadaumc.org
To plant a tree in memory of Carmoleda Giebel, visit the Tribute Store.
319 1st Street West
Roundup, MT 59072
175 South Musselshell Road
Musselshell, MT 59059