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Obituary: Carolee Jean Gillen - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Obituary: Carolee Jean Gillen

Posted: Jan 02, 2018 5:25 PM Updated:

Carolee Jean Gillen passed away on December 28, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana.

Cremation has taken place under the care of O’Connor Funeral Home. Carolee’s favorite time of year was summer.

A Graveside Service and Celebration of Life will be held in both her beloved Fort Benton and Livingston this coming summer in July. 

Carolee was born December 30, 1943 in Coalinga, CA (where her father was stationed) to Mona and Eugene Burtch.

She spent a happy childhood in Livingston and graduated from Park County High School in 1961. She attended Eastern Montana College and University of Montana graduating with a degree in Education.

She was a talented teacher for over 36 years and dedicated her career to Title One and Elementary students. She was a patient and creative educator and she is fondly remembered by her students, many of whom still call her favorite.

She married T. Daniel Gillen and they later divorced. They had three children, Kim (Lara), Tad, and Shauna Gillen.

In 1978, she met her life long partner and love, Carter Johnsrud. For over 40 years they traveled, laughed, were avid Grizzly fans and together ran a successful restaurant and bar in Fort Benton, The Banque Club. 

Carolee was an excellent cook and for many years loved her role in the restaurant when she was not teaching.

Her favorite past time activities included reading, supporting her children’s activities and sports. She loved the ocean, all things Elvis and collecting amazing jewelry. 

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.

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