Cover photo for Mary Helen (Kiehlbauch)  Mielke's Obituary
1929 Mary 2021

Mary Helen (Kiehlbauch) Mielke

August 28, 1929 — July 25, 2021


Mary Helen (Kiehlbauch) Mielke, 91, of Sunburst, passed away of natural causes at the Marias Care Center on July 25, 2021.  Mary was born August 28, 1929, in Great Falls to Otto and Inez (Tabor) Kiehlbauch.  She spent the majority of her life on the family ranch in the shadows of the Sweet Grass Hills, both as a child and as a wife and mother.

Mary received her elementary education at the O’Loughlin School where she would ride on horseback.  She graduated from Sunburst High School at the young age of 16, and then attended Montana State University (Missoula) for a short while before transferring to Billings Business College where Mary met her future husband, Charles “Chuck” Mielke.  After a brief courtship they were married on December 28,1947 at the Sunburst Methodist Church. They lived in Sidney, Chuck’s hometown, for a short time before moving back to the Sweet Grass Hills Ranch where they ranched with Otto and Inez. They were blessed with three daughters, Gayle, Susan, and Laura.

Mary worked hard raising a family, cooking for haying and harvest crews and gardening.  She also liked to have fun playing cards with neighbors, dancing, having coffee and a visit, and boating on Flathead Lake.  An avid reader, Mary enjoyed being a part of the Sunburst Book Club.  Mary was a longtime member of the Sunburst Methodist Church and was involved throughout her life in the community, being active in United Methodist Women, Coutts-Sweetgrass Lions Club, VFW Auxiliary, Marias Museum and Marias Medical Center Auxiliary. For many years as a VFW member she wrote the Sunburst News for the Shelby Promoter.  Attending school and community events was something Mary enjoyed very much, rarely missing an event in which her children or grandchildren were involved.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Chuck and parents, Otto and Inez.  She is survived by her daughters, Gayle Phillips of Great Falls, Susan (Alan) Romers of Fountain Valley, CA, and Laura (Joe) Simons of Sunburst; grandchildren, Alyson Phillips of St. Paul, MN, Scott Phillips of Mount Maunganui, NZ, Chad Romers (Stina Turner) of New Braunfels, TX, Justin Romers of Fountain Valley, CA, Bryan (Courtney) Simons of Sun Prairie, WI, Andrea (Spencer) O’Brien of Reno, NV, and Brett Simons (Madie Westrom) of Helena; and great-grandchildren, Jocelyn and Maeryn Simons of Sun Prairie, WI.

A service will be held August 13th at 2:00 at the Sunburst Methodist Church with a luncheon at the church to follow burial.

Donations may be made to the Sunburst United Methodist Church, Coutts-Sweetgrass Lions Club, or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Helen (Kiehlbauch) Mielke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, August 13, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Sunburst Methodist Church


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