Carol Jean McMurry
September 2, 1944 – June 1, 2019
It is with great sadness we announce that Carol Jean McMurry, age 74, of Loveland, CO passed away on June 1, 2019, due to complications related to cancer treatment. Her loving husband of 27 years, Pat Spieles, was by her side.
Carol was born on September 2, 1944 in Casper, WY, the daughter of the late Neil and Ellie McMurry. She attended school in Casper, graduating in 1962 from Natrona County High School. A student at Casper College and a 1966 graduate of the University of Wyoming, she worked as a librarian for most of her career and remained a devoted bibliophile her entire life. Known for her warmth, compassion, belief in life-long learning and being a proud daughter of the West, she will be dearly missed.
Carol and her first husband, Bill Seebaum married in 1966 and had two children; Matthew and Carla. Following her first marriage, Carol and Pat married in 1992. After retirement, Carol and Pat, divided their time between Loveland, Grand Lake and travelling the world. When she wasn’t restacking books at the library, working the ticket booth at the local theatre, puzzling, reading, or spoiling her grandchildren, Carol also made a lasting impact through her generous, “pay-it-forward” support of cancer research, higher education, public libraries and the arts. In addition to serving on several boards, she endowed three chairs at Children’s Hospital of Colorado, supported numerous endowments at the University of Wyoming, and made several major gifts to public radio, Opera Colorado, Loveland Opera Theatre, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Loveland Public Library and several regional historical societies.
Carol is survived by her husband, Pat, as well as her daughter Carla Bankes (Paul) of Loveland CO, and her son Matthew Seebaum (Stephanie) of Centennial, CO; her stepdaughters, Andra Spieles (Andy) of Laramie, WY and Rae Ann Wheeler (Colin) of Denver, CO; and her grandchildren, Ellie Seebaum, Audrey & Julia Bankes, Morgan and Kaitlyn Cousins, Henry and Anabelle Wheeler; brother, Victor McMurry and sister, Susan Samuelson. Carol is preceded in death by her parents, sister Gayle Kennison, brother Mick McMurry and grandson, Tanner Seebaum.
A memorial service will be held 12:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the Rialto Theater, Loveland, Colorado. An additional memorial service will be 12:00 p.m. Sunday, August 18, 2019 at the Rocky Mountain Repertoire Theater, Grand Lake, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her memory can be made to Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation; University of Wyoming Libraries; Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre; the Wyoming Community Foundation McMurry Library Fund or a charity of your choice.
Carol Jean McMurry
June 27, 2019
Carol had such a caring soul.Such a beautiful lady! Pat and Carol were always very thoughtful to myself and my children. I thank you both so much for your thoughtfulness and caring. We always had the best time ever in Grand Lake. Our favorite memories. I always thought it was so awesome that she went out and bought her first dream car the Slug Bug. Oh my goodness Carol was an amazing cook. It was always fun to see her and her daughter creating such amazing meals and cakes. :) My heart goes out to Pat, Carla and Paul, Matthew and Stephanie, Andra and Andy, RaeAnn and Colin, her beautiful grandchildren, sisters, brothers, in laws, the Family. I am so sorry for a great loss.
June 8, 2019
Dear Carla and family--I am so sorry to hear of Carol's passing. Reading about her on the website made me realize there was so much more to her life than I ever knew--what an even MORE wonderful and amazing lady she was!
My favorite memory of your mom is coming to the realization that the woman I thought was named "Lois", was really "Carol"!
We were gathering at the Egg and I after our 5:30 AM Jazzercise class and I was speaking to "Lois" and Suzanne. Someone mentioned "Carol" and I looked at "Lois" straight in the eye and said, "I don't think I have met Carol--who is she?" A large grin spread across her face and she said, " Oh, Margo, I'm Carol!" She went on to explain why "Lois" was also a name that Carla called her (I can't remember why!) We all laughed heartily and I was relieved to finally not be so confused!
Your mother probably knew this quote but I feel it personifies her love of learning, books and travel--
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
My thoughts, prayers and sympathy are with all of you.
Love, Margo Geppert
June 7, 2019
Carol was a wonderful medical librarian. As a dermatologist, when I would call with a question, she would dive in and help me with the necessary research. My husband, Bob Prentice, remembers when she organized and labeled all the medical books at the Cheyenne Childrens Clinic. She was kind and funny and a wonderful person. She and her family were incredibly generous in our community. Recently she and Pat gave an amazing gift to the First Steps program at the Laramie County Library. She will be missed by all of us who knew her.
June 6, 2019
I was so fortunate to know Carol when she chose to help us build the first Consumer Health Library at Longmont United Hospital back in the day. Her skill with patients and staff as well as her kind hearted sense of humor were appreciated.
I remember fondly the time we were charged with making the tiramisu dessert to bring to the dinner she and Pat hosted and her not being one bit upset that the whole thing had been dropped on my clean kitchen floor and scooped up and brought to dinner anyway!
Sending love during this difficult time to Pat and the entire family.
Hugs, Gail Sundberg-Douse
June 6, 2019
Carol will be missed by all of her friends and family that have been so blessed to have had her in our lives. Carol was an inspiration to us all, leaving this world a better place due to her generous contributions and mentoring of so many causes that were near and dear to her heart. Rest in peace until we meet again.
June 5, 2019
Carol, I treasured every single lunch where we shared life and life's challenges. Thank you for mentoring me on how to succeed in OUR quest for greatness in the arts - something that you loved so much. You have been my beloved friend. Our times in Grand Lake are so beautiful in my memory - with Rob, Matt and Nathan. I can't believe you are gone in such a short time. On Friday you were still hoping to figure out how to go on in the treatment, which truly speaks to how determined you were. You are my hero Carol. I will love you always and hope to see you again on the other side. Thank you for how you lived and paid it forward.
June 5, 2019
So many Wyoming librarians and archivists, myself among them, have benefited from Carol McMurry's generosity. The Carol McMurry Library Endowment (https://library.wyo.gov/services/ldo/mcmurry/individual-grants/) has provided the opportunity for many librarians from small and underfunded libraries to continue their education and attend educational conferences. When I began my first library position in Wyoming, I was astounded to find this level of support (and eagerly took advantage of it!) I participated in national conventions I thought I would never be able to attend. Even more importantly, I was able to encourage my staff to apply for these grants so that they could both learn from colleagues around the country - and contribute their experience to others. Her's is a unique legacy.
June 5, 2019
Thoughts and prayers are with
All the family.
June 5, 2019
I am so sorry to learn of Carol’s passing. Carol has had a profound impact on my professional and personal life through her support of libraries and joy for life. I am thinking of Pat and her wonderful family wishing you much love.