Carole June was born on June 11, 1937 to Lucy Matt and Virgil Gilson in Polson and went home to be with her savior on April 29, 2019, surrounded by love at her earthly home.
In her early years, Carole was raised on a farm in Polson, Montana along with her six siblings and played the clarinet. She was the fourth child out of seven, having one brother and five sisters.
She married Gerald Hitchcock at Phillipsburg, Montana in 1952. Together, they had five children, built three homes and raised their family in the Missoula area until Gerald’s early passing in 1975.
Carole then moved to Pablo on the Flathead Indian Reservation, where she is an enrolled tribal member, and remained there for the rest of her days surrounded by family and friends. During this time, she attended nursing school at ITT Technical in Missoula, worked for a period of time at the Lake County Courthouse, and taught beading to many people of all ages.
She participated in pow wows as an arts and craft vendor and helped her sisters run a popularly known food booth offering her amazing fry bread.
She later re-married Phillip Kuntz in Ronan, Montana in 1988. They enjoyed their time together until his passing in 2017. They liked to take short trips to play bingo for the weekend and were always involved in the lives of their grandchildren, helping and assisting them on a daily basis.
Overflowing with kindness, she had a heart for the underdog and a place at the table for anyone. She was the best Gramma in the world! She always knew just what to do or say, was an incredible up lifter, comforter, teacher of many things, and was eternally forgiving. The only thing stronger than her spirit was her faith and the only thing sweeter than her apple pie was her smile.
Carole was a breast cancer survivor and even a calendar girl to benefit breast cancer awareness. She remained cancer free for 26 years. During that time, she enjoyed her many grandchildren and later, all of her great grandchildren who gave her the nickname of GG, which is short for Gramma Great.
She was an avid reader, gardener, amazing cook, canner, seamstress, and was always beading or crocheting in her spare time. She loved to dance, do puzzles, play cards with her sisters and board games with her family where she remained the Scrabble champion. Additionally, after an introduction to the Internet, she enjoyed time on her iPad where she played games online, read the bible and checked in on her family through Facebook. She loved seeing everyone’s pictures and hearing about what adventures they may be on.
She is known far and wide for her beadwork and pine needle baskets, many of which sit in museums around the world. Her house was always warm, her cookie jar always full, and she always had a warm hug and conversation waiting. Everything was always better at GG’s!
Her beautiful life will be forever cherished by the lives of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren as well as her 3 great-great grandchildren. We are eternally grateful and blessed to have had this amazing woman and all of her love in our lives, and await the day we see her again.
She is reunited in Heaven with her parents, Lucy and Virgil; her husband, Gerald Hitchcock, sisters: Joan Rautz, Thedra (Wanda) Phillips, Sharon Watt, Evelyn Garcia; brother, Charles Gilson and Phillip Kuntz.
She leaves behind her children: Shirley (Jack) Offill of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Thomas (Michelle) Hitchcock of Elko, Nevada; Vickie (Tim) Hitchcock-Courville of Pablo, Montana; Michael (Laurie) Hitchcock of Spokane, Washington; and Lourie Hitchcock of Pablo Montana as well as her 11 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, her sister Susan Coughren of Polson, Montana, and many nieces and nephews.
Services for Carole were held at Sunset Memorial Garden in Missoula, Montana on May 3, 2019.