After a long struggle with cancer, Carolynn K. Armbrust died peacefully at her home in the company of her son on July 1, 2018. Funeral services will be held in the fall, Friday, October 5, at 11:00 a.m. at the Shane Center.
The youngest child of Herbert and Louise Luebke, Carolynn was born August 5, 1944 in Minot, North Dakota. She grew up on the family farm in Sherwood, North Dakota and attended school in nearby Mohall, North Dakota. Carolynn graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where she met Herman L. Armbrust whom she later married in Michigan.
She began her teaching career in Flint, Michigan, then taught English and Speech and Drama for twenty-two years in Livingston, Montana. During her tenure, she was active in the Livingston Education Association, where she served a term as president, was the advisor of award-winning speech and drama teams and a speech teacher "extraordinaire", transforming the most reluctant students into capable public speakers. Carolynn developed many enduring relationships with students over these years.
Coinciding with her teaching career, Carolynn spent years immersed in the Blue Slipper Theatre, both acting and on the production side. She had fond memories of directing “Steel Magnolias” where she employed innovative techniques to facilitate the actors’ character identification and development.
Upon her retirement from education, Carolynn embarked on a new career, real estate development. She purchased rental units, the more dilapidated, the better, then renovated. Carolynn, with help from Herman, provided the bulk of the labor, from demolition to decor implementation. For years, even through her illnesses, she served as her own property manager and always took pride in her high standards of property maintenance.
Carolynn founded another business enterprise during these years, “Incognito Costumes”, a costume rental business. She amassed hundreds of costumes, some of her own creation, others redesigned or restored, all meticulously washed, pressed, and mended.
Ever looking for projects, Carolynn’s next business venture, vacation rentals, was thwarted by the return of cancer.
Carolyn was predeceased by her husband Herman in 2011, her parents, Herbert and Louise Luebke, and many canine friends, among them, Max, Sanjo, Ringo, and Muggs. She is survived by her son, Joseph, her grandchildren, Greta and Spencer, all of East Aurora, New York; her sister Sharron (Jerry) Page, Bottineau, North Dakota, her brother, Donn (Marilyn) Luebke, rural Sherwood, North Dakota, several nieces and nephews; in-laws Mary Heskin, Elaine Hiestand, Don Armbrust, Melvin Armbrust, and Peter Yon, all of North Dakota.
Special thanks goes to Carolynn’s devoted care givers, Terri Hoffee Wheeler and Sandy Hudecek Nelson, who provided comfort and joy to Carolynn during her last months, and to Suzanne Page, for the help she gave Carolynn in navigating her illness.
Should anyone wish to send memorials, Carolynn’s family suggests: The Stafford Animal Shelter (3 Business Park Rd., Livingston, MT 59047), The Blue Slipper Theatre (113 E. Callender Street, Livingston, MT, 59047), or a charity of the donor’s choice.
We will miss you, Carolynn. As with all we love, you became a part of us.
Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory.