Carol Christine (Gorton) Smith, 85, passed away in Bozeman on Dec. 11, 2013. The fourth child of Lynn E. Gorton and Breta (Snell) Gorton, Carol was born on Dec. 23, 1927, in Wolf Point, Mont. Because her baby arrived just hours ahead of the holiday, mother Breta called her little girl her Christmas ""Carol.""
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Carol graduated from Culbertson High School in 1946. She married Edward ""Bud"" Smith in August 1947, after which the young couple established their home in Brockton, Mont. From 1949 to 1959, Carol was a clerk at Brockton's Postal Service.
In 1959, Carol and Bud, together with their two daughters, Rhonda and Chrysti, moved to Poplar, Mont., where Carol worked as a substitute and full-time elementary teacher for the Poplar School District. Carol was a member of St. John's Lutheran church, where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and Luther League classes.
As a single parent, Carol moved to Billings in 1971 to obtain a bachelor's degree in education. Achieving that goal in 1974, Carol worked for 13 years in School District #2, teaching literacy skills to hundreds of Billings students at Boy's Ranch, Taft, North Park, Highland and Miles Avenue schools. In retirement, Carol enjoyed snow-birding to the Mesa area, dancing and socializing with friends. After a cancer diagnosis in November 2013, Carol moved to Belgrade to live with her daughters.
Carol is predeceased by her parents; sisters, Geraldine Gorton Smith and Jean Gorton Chambers; brother, Wayne Gorton, and her dear longtime companion, Owen Neiter of Billings. She is survived by her daughters, Rhonda Smith and Chrysti M. Smith, both of Belgrade, and her nieces and nephews in Montana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Texas.
Cremation has taken place. A gathering of friends and family will be held in Billings at a later date. Memorials in Carol's name may be sent to Hospice at Bozeman Deaconess Foundation, 931 Highland Blvd, Suite 3200, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17, 2013