Heartbroken — my mother-in-law Carole Jean Stehlik Pratt passed away on Sunday.
She was an amazing woman — raised in Belt, college in Bozeman and Great Falls, an Air Force wife, a Pan Am wife, and mother to my wonderful wife and my sister-in-law.
Aside from the sorrow at her passing, I am touched by the professionalism and compassion of the Great Falls Police Department, Great Falls Fire Rescue, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, and O’Connor Funeral Home.
When my wife and I found Carole on Sunday, we called 911. Within minutes, the firefighters, police, and Sheriff’s Deputy arrived, and they were the epitome of compassion and professionalism.
In particular, Officer Brinka of the GFPD and Deputy Baker of the Sheriff’s Office were kind and considerate.
The representatives from O’Connor Funeral Home arrived a short time later, and they, too, were compassionate.
On Monday, when we went to O’Connor to make arrangements, Todd and his crew ended our meeting by giving us a pan of lasagna…a very nice touch.
Thank you to everyone who has shown kindness in these difficult days.
Here is the obituary for Carole – may she rest in peace.
Carole Jean Stehlik Pratt
Carole Jean (Stehlik) Pratt, 79, passed away at her Great Falls home on Sunday, November 29, 2015 of natural causes.
At her request, no services are planned. Cremation has been conducted by O’Connor Funeral home.
Carole was born in Great Falls on February 20, 1936.
She was raised in Belt by Rudy and Lavina Stehlik. After graduating from Belt high school, she attended Montana State College in Bozeman, and then completed her bachelor’s degree in education at the College of Great Falls.
She taught at schools in HIghwood, Great Falls, and the California Bay Area.
In 1958, she married Melvin A. Pratt and was a loving Air Force wife during tours in Texas, Florida, and California before returning to Great Falls. Melvin then became a pilot for Pan Am.
Carole also served for many years as the secretary at the Westside Methodist Church in Great Falls.
Carole and Melvin had two daughters, Lisa and Krista, and raised them in Great Falls.
Melvin died in a Pan Am plane crash in 1974, and Carole devoted her life to raising her daughters and seeing them through college and marrying.
Carole very much enjoyed playing bridge with friends and traveling, and she was very proud of her Belt roots.
Carole was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.
She is survived by her daughters Lisa Prosperie (Kyle) and Krista Sherman (David).