‘The final bell has rung; this teacher has gone home!’
Maria left us this quote as well as many notes to help write this obituary and plan a celebration of her life. Always a planner.
Maria Philomena (McCarthy) Goebel, age 67, peacefully joined her heavenly family on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at St. Peter’s Hospital with her husband and children by her side.
Born in Butte America, the only child of Daniel and Catherine McCarthy, on May 13, 1952, Maria spent her early years in Butte attending Holy Savior and St. Mary’s grade schools until moving to Helena to attend 4th grade at St. Helena’s School, where she made her decision she wanted to be a teacher. Maria was at St. Helena’s School through 8th grade.
Her high school years included three years at Helena Catholic Central, until its closure, when she and her classmates joined the Class of 1970 at Helena High.
During her senior year, Maria’s father passed away. His passing led her to attend Carroll College to stay close to her mother. While at Carroll, pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher, she was active as a Spur Class Officer, Post Office and Music Department worker and loyal Saint fan. Maria’s loyalty to the Fighting Saints remained strong throughout her life.
Upon graduation, she received her first teaching position in Centerville, Montana as the 4th grade teacher. Maria became friends with the 6th grade teacher, Gary Goebel, who after two years became her husband. Maria and Gary were married on August 28, 1976 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Helena, Montana.
Maria continued her teaching career in East Helena, then Helena at Kessler, Warren (25 years) and Four Georgians (4 years), retiring in 2011. Most of Maria’s teaching career was spent in kindergarten. She loved the “little people” so much and continued to be their voice even in her retirement.
Maria was honored as Helena’s Teacher of the Year in 1998. During these years she and Gary were blessed with their three children: Allan, K.D. and Kellie, as well as their treasured grandchildren: Cole, Keegan, Nora, Andre and Collins. Maria was so very proud of her children and even more honored to gain the title ‘Nana’. Her ‘Grand Cuties’ were, without a doubt, the highlight of her days.
Maria was involved as a religious education teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Children’s Liturgy of the Word leader at the Cathedral of Saint Helena, and a member of the Early Childhood Coalition Leadership Team.
Maria enjoyed taking photographs, traveling (especially her and Gary’s trip to Ireland), volunteering in classrooms as Nana Maria, her coffee dates with friends, luncheons with her three retiree groups (Warren, Four Georgians and Kessler) and time spent with her longtime CGU (Catholic Girls Unite) buddies - “Thanks for being my sisters and friends.” Maria dedicated many hours of her retired years to getting books into the hands of children. As part of this mission, she collected book donations throughout the year for the Christmas Giving Tree at the Cathedral, ensuring that children had books under their tree on Christmas morning.
Maria so naturally reminded us, through her words and actions, that we are, and that life is, “Marvelous, Simply Marvelous!”
Maria was preceded in death by her parents: Daniel and Catherine (Melvin) McCarthy, her father- and mother-in-law Alois and Sylvia (Bugni) Goebel and brother-in-law Victor Goebel.
Maria is survived by her loving husband, Gary, and their children: Allan (Stephanie) Goebel, K.D. (Craig) Jones, and Kellie (Josh) Dold, all of Helena, as well as their six treasured grandchildren: Andre Goebel and his sister, Leela, due to arrive in December 2019, Cole and Keegan Jones, and Nora and Collins Dold. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law Don (Helen) Goebel of Post Falls, ID and Ed (Val) Goebel of Spokane, WA, sister-in-law Kathy (Rick) Griffith of Butte, as well as numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Maria’s life will be honored and celebrated with a vigil service at 6:00 PM, Monday, November 4, 2019 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave in Helena. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 PM Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 Ewing Street.
A reception will follow in the Brondel Center of the church. A graveside service will follow the reception at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Maria has requested book donations for the Christmas Giving Tree Project at the Cathedral of St. Helena. Collection boxes for new children’s books (for any age, birth - high school) will be at both the vigil and the Funeral Mass. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Maria.