In Memoriam

Carolyn Kembel (Ennis)

Carolyn Kembel (Ennis)

The following obituary was provided by classmate Lucy Carlborg Rosborough:

Carolyn Kembel Ennis died on October 20, 2017 at the age of 76 in Whitefish, Montana after an extended illness. She loved Montana, raised a remarkable family, and will be remembered as a beloved civic champion who made innovative and generous contributions to the quality of life in her city and state.   (Lucy Rosborough adds:  Carolyn’s intelligence, dignity and quiet sense of humor were her hallmark.)

Born July 29, 1941 in Los Angeles, CA, Carolyn was the first child of Robert and Marjorie (McDivitt) Kembel.  She moved with her family to Kalispell in 1948.  After graduating from Flathead County High School in 1959, she hopped a train to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, majored in history, graduated in 1963, and was later elected Class President in their 45th year. 

After college, Carolyn married Bruce L Ennis at St Matthew’s Church in Kalispell.  She worked at the University of Montana Law School library while Bruce attended law school.  Following his graduation, they traveled extensively in Europe, the first of many travels Carolyn made with her family throughout the world.  Upon their return, they settled in Billings where they raised two children, Greg and Felicia.  In 2009, Carolyn returned to live in the Flathead area to be near her family.

“Camp Kembel,” her family’s cabin on Flathead Lake at Rollins was a favorite retreat every summer for her parents, Aunt Marcella Kembel, her siblings, their children, and friends. 

As a teenager Carolyn had been a popular counselor at the Methodist Camp and the Lookout, skills she recycled through her life at Flathead Lake.  As her family grew, so did Camp Kembel and its role in shaping Carolyn’s life.  A summer highlight has been her (late July) birthday celebration with extended family and dozens of guests and visiting contestants in memorable performances at the lake. The tradition will continue as will her unforgettable huckleberry pie. 

Carolyn was actively involved in the Billings community publishing cookbooks and cooking up new arts institutes.  Through The Junior League she participated in the legislative campaign to pass mandatory public school kindergarten in Montana.  She served as board member or president of the Yellowstone Art Center, the Alberta Bair Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Montana Cultural Trust, and the Montana Committee for the Humanities (Humanities Montana). She cherished her community service and gave her time quietly to dozens of new initiatives through Montana’s Cultural Trust.

In mid-life, to the surprise of her family, Carolyn took on another challenge and enrolled in Law School at the University of Montana, graduating in 1988. During her private practice in Billings, she served as Executive Director of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation.

Carolyn was pre-deceased by her parents Bob and Marjorie Kimbel.  She is survived by a son Gregory K. Ennis, a private fiduciary, and his wife Laura L. Ennis and their children Claire L. and Theodore K. of Kalispell; and her daughter Felicia L. Ennis of Whitefish, a professional climber and wilderness guide. She is also survived by her brother Robert D. Kembel , his wife Joanne; a sister Kathleen A. Douglas and her husband William Staack; her nieces Khristine A. Gavigan and Marcella L. Stuewe; and her former husband Bruce L. Ennis.  

The family is especially indebted to all of the remarkable caregivers and friends who offered loving support and kindness throughout Carolyn’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was aware of those gifts and will be eternally grateful.



 
go to bottom 
  Post Comment

11/01/17 12:44 PM #1    

Sally Nunneley

Carolyn Kembel Ennis, ca. 1988


11/01/17 12:47 PM #2    

Sally Nunneley

The following note was added on 1 Nov. by Lucy Carlborg Rosborough:

It is with great sadness that I share with you the
news of Carolyn Ennis’ death on October 20th in Whitefish,
Montana.  Carolyn had lived with and suffered with Alzheimer’s
for ten years but was particularly grateful to have been a
part of our 50th reunion.  Many of you will remember she
attended with her wonderful daughter, Felicia.

Please see the ‘In Memoriam’ section of our website for
her obituary.  My husband Brian and I will be going to
Billings for her memorial service next week as Carolyn
has been a treasured friend since the first day of our
freshman year.  If you wish to send a note to Felicia, she
can be reached as Felicia Ennis, 510 Monegan Road,
Whitefish MT 59937.  I’m sure she would love to hear from
her mom’s classmates.


11/02/17 01:19 PM #3    

Alice Godfrey (Andrus)

When a woman like Carolyn leaves, she is mourned not only by her family, but also by her classmates whose lives she touched. I am grateful for Carolyn's involvment in our class, particularly assuming the role of Class President. She was a close friend of many in the class, including Lucy, Anne, Roddy and Linden, who cherished her friendship in those years on campus and who kept in touch through the years, particularly during her long illness. She graced our 50th with a devoted Felicia Ennis, her daughter. Her accomplishments in Montana, her verve for life leave us in awe of her legacy. Well done, Carolyn. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


11/06/17 04:00 PM #4    

Jennifer Macdonald (DeWolf)

Carolyn was part of our freshman group at North Rocky and so we knew her through our college years.  I remember her warm smile and soft Montana accent.  And, as her obituary aptly describes her life,, she was courageous in everything she did from hopping a train to S. Hadley to living with a challenging disease.  A real pioneer woman.  The world is better for Carolyn's life.  


11/10/17 10:59 AM #5    

Sally Nunneley

Public obituary:

 

Publication: Independent Record

Date: 10/29/17

 

Carolyn Kembel Ennis passed away on Oct. 20, 2017, at the age of 76,

in Whitefish. She loved Montana, was a remarkable woman, and will be

remembered as a beloved civic champion who made innovative and

generous contributions to the quality of life in her city and state.

 

Born July 29, 1941, in Los Angeles, Carolyn was the first child of

Robert and Marjorie (McDivitt) Kembel. She moved with her family to

Kalispell in 1948. After graduating from Flathead County High School

in 1959, she attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley,

Massachusetts, majored in history, graduated in 1963, and was elected

alumni class president in 2008.

 

After college, Carolyn married Bruce L. Ennis at St. Matthew's Church

in Kalispell. She worked at the University of Montana Law School

library while Bruce attended law school. Following his graduation,

they explored Europe in a convertible Volkswagen visiting friends and

seeing historic sites. It was the first of many adventures Carolyn

had with friends and family throughout the world. Upon their return,

they settled in Billings where they raised two children Greg and

Felicia. In 2009, Carolyn returned to live in the Flathead area to be

near her family.

 

Carolyn was actively involved in the Billings community and

throughout Montana. Her lifelong dedication to community involvement

resulted in the legislative campaign to pass mandatory public school

kindergarten in Montana. She was instrumental in developing Billings'

first historic district. She served as board member of the

Yellowstone Art Center, the Alberta Bair Theatre for the Performing

Arts, the Montana Cultural Trust, and the Montana Committee for the

Humanities (Humanities Montana). In addition, she supported and

participated in many other civic projects. She cherished her

community involvement and gave her time quietly to dozens of new

initiatives.

 

In mid-life, Carolyn took on another challenge and enrolled in Law

School at the University of Montana. She passed the bar exam in 1988.

She served as executive director of the St. Vincent's Hospital

Foundation, and then began private practice in Billings.

 

Carolyn was pre-deceased by her parents Robert and Marjorie Kembel.

 

She is survived by a son, Gregory K. Ennis, and his wife Laura L.

Ennis, and their children Claire L. and Theodore K., of Kalispell;

and her daughter, Felicia L. Ennis, of Whitefish. She is also

survived by her brother, Robert D. Kembel, and his wife Joanne;

sister, Kathleen A. Douglas, and her husband William Staack; nieces

and nephews, Khristine A. Gavigan, Marcella L. Stuewe, James S.

Wheeler, Geoffrey E. Wheeler, Brennan L. Schwarz, Lara A. Porrini,

Carolyn J. Nissley; and her former husband, Bruce L. Ennis.

 

The family is especially indebted to all of the remarkable caregivers

and friends who offered loving support and kindness throughout

Carolyn's gracious struggle with Alzheimer's. She was aware of those

gifts and will be eternally grateful.

 

All are welcome to attend a funeral liturgy at 10:30 a.m. on Friday,

Nov. 10, at St. Patrick's Co-Cathedral, Billings. A special

celebration will follow at Yellowstone Art Museum.

 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Flathead Lakers, P.O. Box 70,

Polson, MT 59860; or Home Options Hospice, c/o KRH Foundation, 310

Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, MT 59901.


go to top 
  Post Comment