Beloved husband, father, and papa Carl Albert Rosenleaf
passed away at Benefis Hospital on July 7, 2010 following a stroke. He was 64,
taken from his family far too soon.
Born on February 6, 1946 in Anaconda to Roy and Martha
Rosenleaf, Carl was the third of five siblings. From an early age, he bedeviled
his mother with his precocious manual dexterity, at one point dismantling all
the doorknobs in the house. Later he would put those skills to better use,
learning all facets of carpentry and home improvement from his father, a
longtime member of the Carpenters Union.
He was just 16 when he started dating Patricia Ann Malcolm,
the love of his life. The two of them married in 1967 while they were studying
at Western Montana College to become teachers. They would have celebrated their
43rd anniversary this year.
They left Dillon after graduation for positions with the
Great Falls Public Schools, with Carl starting his career as an industrial arts
teacher at the old Paris Gibson School and eventually teaching at West and
North Junior High Schools and the new Paris Gibson Middle School. He earned a
Master’s degree from Northern Montana College in 1976. In the classroom, he was
instrumental in creating a new home maintenance curriculum that taught all
middle schoolers how to accomplish basic tasks such as fixing a faucet and
building a wall. In response to heavy demand, he went on to teach that course
to many local adults as well. He retired from the Great Falls Public Schools in
2003, but he was a lifelong teacher to friends, children, and grandchildren in
his home shop.
While work was always important to Carl, his real passion
was for his family. His two children, Nicole and Alex, were a constant source
of pride and joy, and he would brag about them to anyone who would listen. He
delighted in being a family man, keeping Patricia, Nicole, and Alex at the
center of his life. That joy was multiplied when Nicole married Chip Ritter and
Alex married Kari Duffner, adding a son and daughter-in-law and, eventually,
four grandchildren to the family.
Carl is survived by his wife, Patricia Rosenleaf, of Great
Falls, his daughter Nicole Rosenleaf Ritter and son-in-law Chip Ritter of
Livingston, and his son Alex Rosenleaf and daughter-in-law Kari Rosenleaf of
Black Eagle. He also leaves four grandchildren, Connery and Emerson Ritter of
Livingston, and Hannah and Kennedy Rosenleaf of Black Eagle, his sister, Ellen
(Ron) Holten of Hamilton and two brothers, Howie (Bea) Rosenleaf of Anaconda and
Dick (Julie) Rosenleaf of Butte, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
MaryPat and Jerry Smith of Great Falls were lifelong special friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Martha Rosenleaf, his parents-in-law Stan and Doris Malcolm, and his younger brother, James Rosenleaf.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12th, at First Presbyterian Church of Great Falls. Memorials may be directed to the Swan Ecosystem Center, the Great Falls Pet Paw-see, or the Great Falls Symphonic Choir (please specify the choir!).