Carolyn “Baby” Lake Barnes, 78, passed away on Jan. 24, 2021, after a brief illness in Kingman, Ariz. A funeral and celebration of life is being planned and will take place this summer when the weather is more favorable.
Carolyn was born in Whitefish, Mont., on April 22, 1942 to Elmer Lake and Lorraine Fitzpatrick. She was raised in the Cut Bank area and attended school in both Cut Bank and Browning. Carolyn spent most of her years in Cut Bank with several years spent in Anchorage, Alaska and San Francisco, Calif.
She met Alan Matz in the summer of 1974 and they were inseparable for the next 46 years. Every year she would talk about moving South and was finally able to realize this dream in 2017, when she and Alan moved to Bull Head City, Ariz. After a bit of moving around, they found their sweet spot in Kingman where she lived until her passing.
Carolyn’s family, especially Alan and her children, were her world. She did everything she could to make sure they were all taken care of. The family would often laugh that her love language was starching and ironing their clothes–the more stiff your pants, the more you were loved. If it had a wrinkle in it, she would iron it.
Carolyn was the perfect combination of strength and compassion. She had a special way with people; you definitely knew where you stood with her. She truly loved people which was evidenced by all whom she “took under her wings.” During the holidays, she would always set the dinner table with extra place settings for anyone who might pop in, was alone or did not have a place to go.
Carolyn was full of compassion and hated to see people struggle; her door was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay. It was heartwarming to be chatting with her on the phone and have her take a break from the conversation to mention the gopher, lizard or bird that showed up for her frequent visits to the patio for a smoke break.
Carolyn loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor. She loved to sit and visit with people and tell stories of growing up and working on the ranch. Her smile was definitely infectious.
Over the years, she loved to bowl and golf. She enjoyed competing in leagues and tournaments. She definitely added a flare to the game not only in skill but also with her colorful words. You often could hear her laughing across the golf course and you could definitely figure out what hole she was on by the flying golf clubs.
She is survived by her husband and best friend of 47 years, Alan Matz; her children and their families, Libby Barnes-Upham (daughter), Justin Robbins (grandson), Miranda King (granddaughter) and her spouse, CJ, Linzie Robbins (great granddaughter), Shannon Krueger (granddaughter) and her spouse, Kevin, Hazel Krueger(great granddaughter), Chris Robbins (grandson); Toni Altenburg and her spouse, Gary; Sarah Qunell (granddaughter) and Rylee Patton (great granddaughter), Jennah Qunell (granddaughter); Greg Barnes and his spouse, Stacy, Mason (grandson), Sophie (granddaughter), Danny and Grady Phillips (grandsons), Janet Dinius (granddaughter); Katie Berkram (niece).
She is also survived by her sisters and their spouses, Gloria and Lynn Weaver; Patricia and Tom Murphy; Mary Ellen and Ed LaBane; and her brother and his wife, Richard and Kandie Lemieux. In addition, she is survived by nieces and nephews that she was especially fond of, Steve Weaver, Herbie Weaver, Cory and Chad Weaver, Tara Lemieux, Hunter Lemieux, Delilah LaBane, and Martin Tellesch.
She was preceded in death by her parents Lorraine and Alan Lemieux, Elmer Lake; her sister, Gale Tibbets; and her beloved nephew, Danny Weaver.